Crash of an Antonov AN-32B in Hokandara: 5 killed

Date & Time: Dec 12, 2014 at 0620 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
SCM-864
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Colombo - Colombo
MSN:
3509
YOM:
1996
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The approach to Colombo-Ratmalana Airport was completed in marginal weather conditions and low visibility. While too low, the aircraft hit the roof of a house and crashed inverted in flames in a wooded area located in Hokandara, less than 10 km from the runway threshold. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. A crew member was seriously injured while all four other occupants were killed. The only survivor died from his injuries six days later, on December 18.

Ground explosion of a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 100 in Colombo: 16 killed

Date & Time: May 3, 1986 at 0905 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
4R-ULD
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
London - Zurich - Dubai - Colombo - Male
MSN:
193P-1061
YOM:
1974
Flight number:
UL512
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
22
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
128
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
16
Aircraft flight hours:
28915
Aircraft flight cycles:
16666
Circumstances:
While parked at Colombo-Bandaranaike Airport, the aircraft was preparing for the last leg to Male. Ground personnel was still servicing the aircraft with fuel and catering and about 150 people were on board when an explosion occurred in the rear part of the cabin. The aircraft was cut in two and partially destroyed by fire. 46 people were injured, 88 were unhurt and 16 passengers were killed.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the explosion was the consequence of a bomb placed on board by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Crash of a Learjet 35A off Kuala Selangor: 6 killed

Date & Time: Feb 13, 1983 at 2100 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N482U
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Kuala Lumpur - Colombo
MSN:
35-482
YOM:
1982
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane departed Kuala Lumpur-Subang Airport at 2141LT bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka. While flying at an altitude of 27,000 feet, the crew was cleared to climb to FL390 when the airplane entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in the Malacca Strait, about 20 km off Kuala Selangor. SAR operations were initiated and a survey kit was found six days later. The main wreckage as well as bodies or debris were not found.
Crew:
Noel Anandappa, pilot,
Sydney Soysa, copilot,
S. Senenakye, steward.
Passenger:
Upali Wijewardene,
S. M. Ratnam,
Ananda Peli Muhandiram.
Probable cause:
Due to lack of evidences as the wreckage was not found, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined.

Crash of a Douglas DC-8-63CF in Colombo: 183 killed

Date & Time: Nov 15, 1978 at 2330 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
TF-FLA
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Jeddah - Colombo - Surabaya
MSN:
46020/415
YOM:
1968
Flight number:
LL001
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
13
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
249
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
183
Circumstances:
The four engine airplane was chartered by Garuda Indonesia Airways to fly back to Surabaya 249 Indonesian pilgrims who were returning home following a 'haj' in Mecca. Following an uneventful flight, the crew was cleared to descend from FL330 to FL220 then was informed that runway 04 was in use. The captain requested a runway 22 landing and was cleared for. On final approach by night, while at an altitude of 650 feet, the crew was cleared to land on runway 22, a clearance that was acknowledged by the crew. Few seconds later, the approach controller realized that the aircraft was too low and tried to contact the crew. Unfortunately, this was not possible as the crew already switched to the tower frequency. On short final, the airplane struck tree tops and crashed in a huge explosion in a coconut grove located 2,1 km short of runway 22 threshold. 79 occupants were rescued while 183 others were killed, among them eight crew members. The aircraft was totally destroyed by a post crash fire.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the accident was the consequence of the combination of the following factors:
- The flight crew's failure to conform to the laid down approach procedures,
- The crew failed to check and utilize all instruments available for altitude and descent rate awareness,
- The copilot failed to provide the captain with the required altitude and sink rate call-outs at the various levels,
- The captain failed to initiate a missed approach procedure at the appropriate height when the runway was not in sight,
- The sink rate was very excessive during most part of the descent,
- There is a possibility that the radio altimeter bug on the captain's panel had been erroneously set at 150' which resulted in the captain being deprived of the warning light of the altimeter and of the audiovisual warnings of the GPWS as the break-off altitude of 250' which he had intended to set,
- Contributing to the accident was the fact that there was a down draught of the wind which probably rendered recovery more difficult when the captain realized that the aircraft had descended too low and called for maximum power to overshoot.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-8-55F near Maskeliya: 191 killed

Date & Time: Dec 4, 1974 at 2211 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PH-MBH
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Surabaya - Colombo - Jeddah
MSN:
45818/242
YOM:
1966
Flight number:
MP138
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
9
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
182
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
191
Captain / Total flying hours:
26770
Captain / Total hours on type:
4000.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2480
Copilot / Total hours on type:
47
Aircraft flight hours:
35613
Circumstances:
The airplane was completing a charter flight (hadj flight) from Surabaya to Jeddah with an intermediate stop in Colombo, carrying 182 Indonesian pilgrims on behalf of Garuda Indonesian Airways, and a crew of nine (seven Dutch citizens and two Indonesian). The descent to Colombo-Bandaranaike Airport was initiated by night and marginal weather conditions. The crew was cleared to descent to 5,000 feet and must report once the altitude of 8,000 feet was reached on descent. Then the crew was cleared to descent to 2,000 feet in view of a landing on runway 04. In poor visibility, the airplane struck the slope of Mt Anjimalai located about 85 km southeast of Bandaranaike Airport, near the city of Maskeliya. The wreckage was found few hours later in a quite unreachable area. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all 191 occupants have been killed.
Probable cause:
Collision with rising terrain as the crew descended the aircraft below safe altitude owing to incorrect identification of their position vis-a-vis the airport. The investigation is of the opinion that this was the result of dependence on Doppler and Weather Radar Systems on board PH-MBH which left room for misinterpretation. The following findings were reported:
- The captain has no recent experience on this route,
- No proper route check had been carried out prior to permitting the captain to fly on this route; certain provisions of chapter 9 section 4 of annex 6 to the convention on international civil aviation had not been strictly complied with,
- The copilot had little experience on the type in general and no experience on PH-MPH in particular,
- The copilot had no previous experience on the route,
- The doppler computer system was off-standard to the Martinair DC-8 fleet and left room for misinterpretation of the 'distance-to-go' presentation by the crew,
- The weather radar system was off-standard to the Martinair DC-8 fleet and no instruction had been included regarding this in the aircraft operations manual, thus leaving room for misinterpretation of the range-markings on the screen by the crew,
- There are indications that the crew relied for the greater part on the doppler system to determine their 'distance-to-go',
- There were shortcomings on the part of Martinair in the maintenance of technical records pertaining to aircraft, and to cockpit personnel in respect of route qualification,
- The officers responsible for the organization at Surabaya pertaining to this flight displayed a certain degree of negligence in that they failed to retain copies of maintenance records and navigational documentation relevant to this flight,
- The captain/copilot were unaware of the correct reporting points in the Colombo Flight Information Region,
- There are no indications of a major pre-crash failure of the aircraft or of its systems, nor of any pre-crash fire.
Final Report:

Crash of a Handley Page H.P.67 Hastings C.1 off Gan AFB

Date & Time: Mar 1, 1960
Operator:
Registration:
TG579
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Colombo - Gan AFB
MSN:
70
YOM:
1949
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
14
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Weather conditions at Gan AFB were poor with thunderstorm activity, heavy rain falls and low visibility. The captain decided to abandon the approach and made a go around before following a holding circuit for about 20 minutes, waiting for weather improvement. During a second approach, the crew failed to realize his altitude was insufficient (420 feet below the glide) when the airplane struck the water surface about three km short of runway threshold. All 20 occupants were evacuated while the aircraft was lost.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the crew who descended below the glide in marginal weather conditions without visual contact with runway. Crew fatigue and impairment of vision by rain were considered as contributing factors.

Crash of a Handley Page H.P.67 Hastings at Gan AFB

Date & Time: Jul 3, 1959
Operator:
Registration:
TG580
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Katunayake – Gan
MSN:
71
YOM:
1949
Region:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On touchdown, the airplane hit the ground. On impact, the undercarriage were sheared off and the airplane slid on its belly for few dozen yards before coming to rest. There were no casualties but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. It was reported that a cross wind was gusting to 23 knots at the time of the accident, which may contribute to the accident.