ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed B-34 Lexington N44M Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI (MKE)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 17 December 1954
Type:Silhouette image of generic L37 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed B-34 Lexington
Operator:Miller Brewing Company
Registration: N44M
MSN: 4820
First flight: 1942
Total airframe hrs:822
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) N of Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI (MKE) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI (MKE/KMKE), United States of America
Destination airport:Winnipeg International Airport, MB (YWG/CYWG), Canada
A Lockheed Ventura, N44M took off from runway 1 of Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, Wisconsin, USA, at approximately 17:08 for an IFR flight to Winnipeg, Canada.
Aboard were two pilots and two passengers: Fred Miller, Sr, President of the Miller Brewing Company, and his son.
As the aircraft was passing over the northern boundary of the airport, after an apparently normal takeoff, the Mitchell Field Tower Controller received the message, "an engine on fire" and "making an emergency landing."
The aircraft, which had started a turn to the left at this time, was cleared to return to the airport and use any runway. The pilot then reported an engine feathered. As the controller turned up all runway lights to the highest intensity, personnel in the tower observed a mushrooming mass of flame just north of the field. The aircraft had crashed in a nose-down right-wing-low attitude in an open field approx. 3,200 feet north of the airport and west of the extended runway 1 centreline.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: "The failure of the left engine, together with a reduction of power in the right engine following takeoff, which prevented normal single-engine performance. This condition together with the fact that the aircraft was overloaded for single-engine performance resulted in loss of control."

Loss of control



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI to Winnipeg International Airport, MB as the crow flies is 1045 km (653 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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