Airliner crash in Georgetown kills seven on July 19, 1949.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 2/20/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3699

On July 19, 1949, an Air Transport Associates C-46 airliner crashes in Georgetown, just south of Seattle, killing two passengers and five people on the ground. Seven homes are destroyed and 39 people are injured, including six firefighters.

The unscheduled flight carried 28 military passengers and four crew members from Boeing Field to Chicago. On takeoff, the left engine lost power. The pilot circled around to return to the airport, but north of Boeing Field, the plane cut through two power transmission lines. The plane headed for an electrical substation and the pilot veered, crashing into residences on Harney Street in Georgetown, just south of Seattle. Fire erupted approximately two minutes after impact.

Those killed aboard the airliner were:

  • Private First Class Laurence Furio, U.S. Army, Chicago
  • Corporal Frank Catioca, U.S. Air Force, Kalamazoo, Michigan

    Those killed in a wood-frame rooming house at 961 Harney Street were:

    • Pete Chumos
    • Frank Morgan, 55, machinist
    • Ralph Parker, 65, retired
    • Olavi Niemi, 65, lumber and sawmill worker
    • Ed Brightcamp, 71, retired

    The twin-engine C-46 was manufactured by Curtiss during World War II as a military transport. Investigators traced the cause of the accident to the use of the wrong fuel.


Sources:

"Accident Description" (for July 19, 1949) Aviation Safety Network website (http://aviation-safety.net/ database/1949 /490719-0.htm); "Airliner Crashes Into Homes," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 20, 1949, pp. 1, A, B, 2, 3.


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