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Last updated: 17 September 2021
Date:Wednesday 21 January 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46D-15-CU Commando
Operator:Linea Expresa Bolivar - LEBCA
Registration: YV-C-LBI
MSN: 33411
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:32 km (20 mls) NE of Mérida (   Venezuela)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Mérida-A Carnevalli Airport (MRD/SVMD), Venezuela
Destination airport:Lagunillas Airport (LGY), Venezuela
The Curtiss C-46 departed Merida at 15:05 for a flight to Lagunillas and Maracaibo. En route at 7000 feet it appeared that the El Callejon pass was cloud-covered. The aircraft made a 180deg turn over Ejido, started climbing and continued on a 30deg heading. Still in clouds, the aircraft crashed into the Páramo La Culata at an altitude of 13500 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was due to flying the aircraft at insufficient altitude over an area apparently unfamiliar to the pilot."

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain


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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 Mérida-A Carnevalli Airport to Lagunillas Airport as the crow flies is 27 km (17 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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