Zone

Crash of a Boeing KC-135 in Howard AFB, Panama City: 4 killed

Date & Time: Jun 17, 1986 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
63-7983
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
18600
YOM:
1963
Flight number:
USAF983
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Aircraft flight hours:
8041

Crash of a Lockheed C-130A Hercules off Trujillo: 21 killed

Date & Time: Jan 22, 1985 at 0935 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
56-0501
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Howard – Trujillo – Comayagua
MSN:
3109
YOM:
1957
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
16
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
21
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Howard Airbase in Panama, the crew started the approach to Trujillo Airport in marginal weather conditions. While completing a left turn at low height with gear and flaps retracted, the aircraft struck the water surface with its left wingtip. Out of control, it crashed in the sea about 13 km from the airport. All 21 occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, the visibility was estimated to be 2,500 meters in haze with a 1,500 feet ceiling and a northerly wind gusting to 25 knots.

Crash of a Douglas C-54D-10-DC Skymaster on Mt de la Muerte: 4 killed

Date & Time: Nov 29, 1974
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
799
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Tegucigalpa - Howard
MSN:
10815
YOM:
1945
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
En route from Tegucigalpa-Toncontin Airport to Howard AFB in Panama City, while cruising in limited visibility, the four engine airplane struck the slope of Mt de la Muerte located about 54 km southeast of San José, Costa Rica. As the airplane failed to arrive at destination, SAR operations were initiated but eventually abandoned after few days as no trace of the aircraft nor the four crew members was found. The wreckage was located on 16 May 1975 in an isolated and mountainous area.
Probable cause:
It is believed that the accident was the consequence of a controlled flight into terrain.

Crash of a Lockheed C-141A-LM Starlifter near La Paz: 7 killed

Date & Time: Aug 18, 1974
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
65-0274
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Howard - La Paz
MSN:
6126
YOM:
1965
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Aircraft flight hours:
16339
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a flight from Howard AFN, Panama, to La Paz. While descending to La Paz-El Alto Airport, the crew encountered poor weather conditions with limited visibility due to clouds from 700 to 24,000 feet. The crew informed ATC about his position about three minutes from La Paz VOR when he was cleared to descend from 24,000 to 18,000 feet. Shortly later, while flying at an altitude of 18,700 feet, the airplane struck the slope of a mountain (20,000 feet high) located 28 km north of El Alto Airport. The airplane disintegrated on impact and all seven crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was the consequence of a controlled flight into terrain probably caused by a navigational error on part of the crew or a wrong instruments interpretation while descending in marginal weather conditions. The crew probably thought he was above the La Paz VOR when in reality, the airplane was few km to the east of this VOR.

Crash of a Curtiss C-46D-10-CU Commando at Howard AFB: 9 killed

Date & Time: Sep 1, 1967
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
44-77552
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
32948
YOM:
1944
Country:
Crew on board:
9
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Howard AFB, the airplane stalled and crashed, killing all nine crew members.

Crash of a Douglas C-54 Skymaster off Puerto Limón: 69 killed

Date & Time: Nov 3, 1965 at 0730 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
TC-48
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Buenos Aires - Howard - San Salvador
MSN:
35983
YOM:
1945
Country:
Crew on board:
9
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
60
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
69
Circumstances:
The aircraft was completing a flight from Buenos Aires to the US with intermediate stops at Howard AFB and San Salvador, carrying 60 cadets of the Argentinian Air Force and nine crew members. After his departure from Howard AFB, while overflying the Caribbean Sea along the Costa Rican coast, the captain reported to ATC that the engine number three was on fire and elected to divert to the nearest airport. This was the last radio contact with the crew as shortly later, the four engine aircraft crashed into the sea off Puerto Limón. Few life vest and debris were found floating on water and none of the 69 occupants survived.
Probable cause:
Due to lack of evidence, it was not possible to determine the exact cause of the accident.

Crash of a Douglas C-47 in Cali: 14 killed

Date & Time: Aug 28, 1965
Operator:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Howard - Cali
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
12
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
14
Circumstances:
While descending to Cali Airport, the airplane struck the slope of Mt Calima and was destroyed. All 14 occupants were killed. The flight was inbound from Howard AFB in Panama City.

Crash of a De Havilland L-20 Beaver off Howard AFB: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 11, 1960
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Howard - Howard
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Howard AFB in Panama City, the pilot encountered technical problems and elected to return for a safe landing. While making a 180 turn, he lost control of the airplane that crashed into the Panama Canal off the district of Balbo. The aircraft was destroyed and all six occupants were killed.