AIR AMERICA: CURTISS C-46s - The University of Texas at Dallas
Curtiss C-46D N9458Z 32985 10 Nov. 65 Southern Air Transport N9458Z; previously USAF 44-78589, then N9458Z Service history: regd. to Air America on 24 November 65 (Status as of 15 January 74, in: UTD/CIA/B56F3); flew Vientiane-Bangkok on 14 April 66 and Bangkok- Vientiane on 15 April 66 (Flight crew member monthly movement report of A. J. Zarkos, in: UTD/Zarkos/B1F8); flew Vientiane-Bangkok on 3 May 66 and Bangkok- Vientiane on 18 May 66 (Flight crew member monthly movement report of A. J. Zarkos, in: UTD/Zarkos/B1F8); assigned to contract AID-439-342 in April 66 (Aircraft status as of 8 April 66, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1), in May 66 (Aircraft status as of 4 May 66, in: UTD/Hickler/B1F2), in May 68 (Aircraft status as of 1 May 68, in: UTD/Herd/B2), 16-30 June 69 (F.O.C. of 15 June 69, in: UTD/Hickler/B8F7B) and 16-31 August 69 (F.O.C. of 15August 69, in: UTD/Hickler/B1F1); N9458Z was assigned to contract AID-439-342 for use out of Vientiane 1-15 July 71, but released from the contract on 15 July 71 for storage at Tainan (F.O.C. of 1 July 71, in: UTD/Hickler/B8F7B); to inactive storage at Tainan on 31 July 71 (F.O.C. of 15 July 71, in: UTD/Hickler/B8F7B); a photo taken at Danang (V-03) in March 68 by Robert Mikesh can be found in: Love, Wings of Air America, p. 19; at Bangkok on 25 March 70 (Aviation Letter 44, July 70, p.2); had a ground accident at Luang Prabang (L-54) on 19 April 71, when damaged by flying fragments of rotor blade parts (XOXO of 19 April 71, in: UTD/Hickler/B25F11; Accident report, in: UTD/Anthony/F3; photo in UTD/Anthony/F9); repaired; photos in UTD/Shane Tang [Sm. Coll. 5] and Air America Log; was in use out of Saigon as a spare aircraft at least 16-30 April 73, 1 November-31 December 73, and 1 April-31 May 74 (F.O.C. of 15 April 73, in: UTD/Kaufman/B1F14; F.O.C.s of 1 November 73, 1 December 73, 1 April 74, and 1 May 74, in: UTD/Hickler/B8F7C); based at Saigon in March 75 (Telex dated 20 March 75 in: UTD/CIA/B18F2); at Hong Kong in 1975. Fate: departure from Saigon to the Continental US was scheduled for 15 June 75 (Telex dated 20 March 75, in: UTD/CIA/B18F2), but probably escaped on 29 April 75; was at Tainan between 15 June 75 and 28 July 75, until it was sold that day (Air America, owned aircraft as of 30 September 75, in: UTD/CIA/B56F1); was to be sold to OASIS, Manila, on 18 June 75 (Summary of aircraft sales in: UTD/CIA/B40F6); registered as RP-C1462 on 25 July 75; photo in Air-Britain Digest, Sept./Oct. 78, p. 117; cancellation of US registry requested on 4 August 75 (Letter by Clyde S. Carter, in: UTD/CIA/B17F4); withdrawn from use at Manila in February 81.
II) C-46s leased to Air America from the Civil Aeronautics Administration of the Republic of China, Taipei: CAT C-46F B-130 taken in the fifties (UTD/Kirkpatrick/B29) Air America C-46F B-130 at Tachikawa in March 60 after its crash in the Plain of Jars taken by Mel Lawrence on 26 November 60 (with kind permission from (UTD/Kirkpatrick/B30) Mel Lawrence /Airliners.net) Curtiss C-46F B-130 22379 (31 Mar. 59) CAT B-130; previously USAF 44-78556, then XT-30, then N8388C Service history: leased from the Taiwan CAA; a photo of B-130 taken by Mel Lawrence at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, in March 1960 can be found in the Air America.net collection. Fate: made an emergency landing in the Plain of Jars, Laos, caused by elevator control loss, and crashed on 26 November 60, when flying under contract 57-060; the pilot (J. R. Dexheimer) was seriously injured, the copilot (S. L. [“Eddie”] Tong) and the radio operator (K. S. Wong) were killed (Memorial; Memorial file, in: UTD/LaShomb/B16F3; List “Company operated aircraft lost or destroyed”, in: UTD/CIA/B1F10; List “Total number of company employees killed in aircraft accidents”, in: UTD/CIA/B1F10; List “Operational casualties in SEA”, in: UTD/CIA/B29F1; Aircraft accidents 1960, in: UTD/CIA/B49F2; List “Aircraft destroyed or lost”, in: UTD/CIA/B49F2); a photo of the crash site can be found in UTD/Kirkpatrick/B30. Curtiss C-46F B-136 22465 (31 Mar. 59) CAT B-136; previously USAF 44-78642, then XT-36, then N8390C Service history: had been fitted with long-range tanks for Operation Repat in October