Crash of a Curtiss C-46D-10-CU Commando in Myrtle Beach: 39 killed

Date & Time: Jul 23, 1950 at 1022 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
44-77577
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Myrtle Beach – Nashville
MSN:
32973
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
35
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
39
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff, while climbing to a height between 1,000 and 2,000 feet, the aircraft became unstable, lost height and crashed in a huge explosion in a field located two miles from the airfield. The aircraft was totally destroyed upon impact and all 39 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Several eye-witnesses reported that the aircraft lost some pieces before it came down. Investigations determined that following the failure of a part of the right aileron, it detached from the wing, causing severe vibrations. The crew tried to maintain a flat attitude but the aircraft banked left and right and then went into a spin when both wings separated due to aerodynamic forces that exceeded their certification. In such conditions, control was impossible.