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Date:Sunday 9 July 2000
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-60-CS Commando
Operator:R.M. Marmolejo
Registration: HK-851P
MSN: 2926/383
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:38837
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 17
Total:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 19
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) E of Villavicencio-La Vanguardia Airport (VVC) (   Colombia)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Villavicencio-La Vanguardia Airport (VVC/SKVV), Colombia
Destination airport:Mitú Airport (MVP/SKMU), Colombia
The C-46 HK-851P was owned and operated by a private individual. It was certified to carry a maximum of 13 occupants. It was prepared for a non-scheduled cargo/passenger flight from Villavicencio (VVC) to Mitú (MVP). The flight plan indicated that the flight was to follow Airway W-17 at 9000 feet to Mitú and that there were six persons on board. In fact the airplane carried the two pilots and seventeen passengers. The C-46 took off at 08:23. Shortly after takeoff the right-hand (no. 2) engine caught fire. Because the fire extinguishing bottles of the engines were empty, the fire could not be extinguished. The pilot attempted to return to the airport by executing a right hand turn. The crew consequently lost control and the airplane crashed.
The investigation into the cause of the accident revealed that the airplane was not in an airworthy condition. Flight experience of both pilots was not logged and the captain and owner of the plane did not have a valid medical certificate.

Probable Cause:

CAUSA PROBABLE: "Decisión y operación inapropiadas del piloto al efectuar regreso con viraje a la derecha por incendio incontrolado en el motor No 2 induciendo un a perdida de sustentación sobre el ala del mismo lado que hizo perder e control sobre la aeronave al piloto a los controles."

PROBABLE CAUSE: The decision and inappropriate operation of the pilot to return with a right hand turn with an uncontrolled fire in the No.2 engine leading to a loss of lift on the wing on that side and a loss of control over the aircraft. (translation from Spanish; the Spanish version is the original)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: Aerocivil
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: COL-00-21-GIA
Download report: Final report

Engine fire
Loss of control


photo of Curtiss-C-46A-Commando-HK-851P
accident date: 09-07-2000
type: Curtiss C-46A Commando
registration: HK-851P

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 Villavicencio-La Vanguardia Airport to Mitú Airport as the crow flies is 493 km (308 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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Curtiss C-46

  • 3341 built
  • 1102nd loss
  • 305th fatal accident
  • 67th worst accident
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  • 81st worst accident (at the time)
  • 88th worst accident (currently)
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