Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 NGX in the Pacific Ocean

Date & Time: Nov 6, 2020 at 1600 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N400PW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Santa Maria - Hilo
MSN:
2003
YOM:
2020
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On November 6, 2020, about 1600 Pacific standard time, a Pilatus PC-12, N400PW, was substantially damaged when it was ditched in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. The two pilots sustained no injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 ferry flight. According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), who was also the ferry company owner, he and another pilot were ferrying a new airplane from California to Australia. The first transoceanic leg was planned for 10 hours from Santa Maria Airport (KSMX), Santa Maria, California to Hilo Airport (PHTO), Hilo, Hawaii. The manufacturer had an auxiliary ferry fuel line and check valve installed in the left wing before delivery. About 1 month before the trip, the pilot hired a ferry company to install an internal temporary ferry fuel system for the trip. The crew attempted the first transoceanic flight on November 2, but the ferry fuel system did not transfer properly, so the crew diverted to Merced Airport (KMCE), Merced, California. The system was modified with the addition of two 30 psi fuel transfer pumps that could overcome the ferry system check valve. The final system consisted of 2 aluminum tanks, 2 transfer pumps, transfer and tank valves, and associated fuel lines and fittings. The ferry fuel supply line was connected to the factory installed ferry fuel line fitting at the left wing bulkhead, which then fed directly to the main fuel line through a check valve and directly to the turbine engine. The installed system was ground and flight checked before the trip. According to Federal Aviation Administration automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) data, the airplane departed KSMX about 1000. The pilots each stated that the ferry fuel system worked as designed during the flight and they utilized the operating procedures that were supplied by the installer. About 5 hours after takeoff, approaching ETNIC intersection, the PIC climbed the airplane to flight level 280. At that time, the rear ferry fuel tank was almost empty, and the forward tank was about 1/2 full. The crew was concerned about introducing air into the engine as they emptied the rear ferry tank, so the PIC placed the ignition switch to ON. According to the copilot (CP), she went to the cabin to monitor the transparent fuel line from the transfer pumps to ensure positive fuel flow while she transferred the last of the available rear tank fuel to the main fuel line. When she determined that all of the usable fuel was transferred, and fuel still remained in the pressurized fuel line, she turned the transfer pumps to off and before she could access the transfer and tank valves, the engine surged and flamed out. The PIC stated that the crew alerting system (CAS) fuel low pressure light illuminated about 5 to 15 seconds after the transfer pumps were turned off, and then the engine lost power and the propeller auto feathered. The PIC immediately placed the fuel boost pumps from AUTO to ON. The CP went back to her crew seat and they commenced the pilot operating handbook’s emergency checklist procedures for emergency descent and then loss of engine power in flight. According to both crew members, they attempted an engine air start. The propeller unfeathered and the engine started; however, it did not reach flight idle and movement of the power control lever did not affect the engine. The crew secured the engine and attempted another air start. The engine did not restart and grinding sounds and a loud bang were heard. The propeller never unfeathered and multiple CAS warning lights illuminated, including the EPECS FAIL light (Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System). The crew performed the procedures for a restart with EPECS FAIL light and multiple other starts that were unsuccessful. There were no flames nor smoke from either exhaust pipe during the air start attempts. About 8,000 ft mean sea level, the crew committed to ditching in the ocean. About 1600, after preparing the survival gear, donning life vests, and making mayday calls on VHF 121.5, the PIC performed a full flaps gear up landing at an angle to the sea swells and into the wind. He estimated that the swells were 5 to 10 ft high with crests 20 feet apart. During the landing, the pilot held back elevator pressure for as long as possible and the airplane landed upright. The crew evacuated through the right over wing exit and boarded the 6 man covered life raft. A photograph of the airplane revealed that the bottom of the rudder was substantially damaged. The airplane remained afloat after landing. The crew utilized a satellite phone to communicate with Oakland Center. The USCG coordinated a rescue mission. About 4 hours later, a C-130 arrived on scene and coordinated with a nearby oil tanker, the M/V Ariel, for rescue of the crew. According to the pilots, during the night, many rescue attempts were made by the M/V Ariel; however, the ship was too fast for them to grab lines and the seas were too rough. After a night of high seas, the M/V Ariel attempted rescue again; however, they were unsuccessful. That afternoon, a container ship in the area, the M/V Horizon Reliance, successfully maneuvered slowly to the raft, then the ship’s crew shot rope cannons that propelled lines to the raft, and they were able to assist the survivors onboard. The pilots had been in the raft for about 22 hours. The airplane was a new 2020 production PC-12 47E with a newly designed Pratt and Whitney PT6E-67XP engine which featured an Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System. The airplane is presumed to be lost at sea. The investigation is ongoing.

Crash of a Quest Kodiak 100 in Pskov

Date & Time: Jul 6, 2015 at 1618 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N642RM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Riga – Pskov – Krutitsy
MSN:
100-0104
YOM:
2013
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
470
Captain / Total hours on type:
52.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1041
Copilot / Total hours on type:
10
Aircraft flight hours:
391
Circumstances:
On 03.07.2015 at 15:05, Kodiak-100 N642RM airplane, which had left Riga AP (Latvia), performed a landing at Pskov AD (RF). The airplane was performing a ferry flight from USA (where it was bought) to Krutitsy landing site, which is 80 km to the Southeast from Ryazan (RF). After the landing, flight crewmembers and passengers passed a border and customs control successfully. The aircraft was kept at Pskov AD from July 3 till July 6 under custody of AASS of Pskovavia (JSC). On 06.07.2015 at 08:00, the flight crew – PIC and FO – arrived to Pskov AD with a view to the ferry flight resumption. PIC was planning to fly the aircraft from Pskov AD to Krutitsy landing site on 06.07.2015. In violation of FAP MA CA and FAP-128 requirements, PIC and FO didn't pass a preflight medical check in spite of the fact that Pskovavia medical service was available at the aerodrome. Before the takeoff, two flight crewmembers were in the cockpit: PIC occupying a left seat, and FO occupying a right seat. Both were secured with safety belts. At 13:15:30, PIC performed a takeoff from Pskov AD with MH=190°. According to the flight crew explanatory reports, during the climbing with left turn, they had the engine troubles. Therefore, the flight crew put the airplane into gliding. They failed to re-start the engine in flight. Before the emergency landing, they cut the fuel off and de-energized the aircraft. The landing was performed at 13:18 to a marshy area with some bushes and individual trees around. The aircraft received significant damage during the landing. There was no fire: neither in flight nor on the ground. At 13:21:21, FO reported the forced landing to ATC controller, using the aircraft radio station. Pskov First-Aid Station suggested the help, but the flight crewmembers refused because they did not have any injuries.
Probable cause:
The accident with Kodiak 100 N642RM aircraft occurred when performing a forced landing to the forest. According to the flight crewmembers explanations, the need of this forced landing was caused by the engine power loss in flight. Conducted examinations of engine, rotor and fuel system did not reveal any issue that can cause the power plant loss of power. Because FDIS SD data card from the central display, which storages all recorded power plant flight parameters was lost, it was not possible to access the engine operability and the flight crewmembers' actions in full.
Final Report:

Crash of a PZL-Mielec AN-2R in the Baltic Sea: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 16, 2015 at 1535 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
LY-AET
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Stauning – Kattleberg – Klaipėda
MSN:
1G192-07
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
9006
Captain / Total hours on type:
8995.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
15349
Copilot / Total hours on type:
12553
Aircraft flight hours:
6920
Aircraft flight cycles:
26031
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a delivery flight from Stauning (Denmark) to Klaipėda with an intermediate stop in Kattleberg, Sweden. Recently acquired by the company for agricultural purposes, the single engine aircraft departed Kattleberg Airfield at 1312LT with an ETA in Klaipėda at 1720LT. En route, the crew informed ATC about their position at 1508LT. Less than half an hour later, the aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in unknown circumstances in the Baltic Sea, some 111 km off Klaipėda. The crew of a Lithuanian Marine vessel located the wreckage three days later at a depth of 124 meters. A dead body was found on May 21. The second pilot was not found.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Stonehaven

Date & Time: Apr 9, 2014 at 1447 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N66886
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wick – Le Touquet
MSN:
31-7405188
YOM:
1974
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3188
Captain / Total hours on type:
19.00
Circumstances:
The aircraft was on a ferry flight from Seattle in the USA to Thailand via Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and across Europe. However the flight crew abandoned the aircraft in Greenland late in December 2013 after experiencing low oil pressure indications on both engines. This may have been due to the use of an incorrect grade of oil for cold weather operations. The aircraft remained in Greenland until 28 February 2014, when a replacement ferry pilot was engaged. Although the engine oil was not changed prior to departing Greenland, the flight continued uneventfully to Wick, in Scotland. Following some maintenance activity on the right engine, the aircraft departed for Le Touquet in France. However, approximately 25 minutes after takeoff, the engines successively lost power and the pilot carried out a forced landing in a ploughed field. Examination of the engines revealed that one piston in each engine had suffered severe heat damage, consistent with combustion gases being forced past the piston and into the crankcase.
Probable cause:
The aircraft began experiencing engine problems, leading to the forced landing, approximately 25 minutes after departing Wick, in Scotland. However, it is possible that these problems may have originated prior to the aircraft arriving in the UK. The low oil pressures in both engines, reported by the crew on the flight leg to Greenland, may have been due to the wrong grade of oil, W100, being used in what would have been very low temperatures experienced in December in Canada and Greenland. Despite supplies of multigrade oil being sent to Greenland, the engine oil was not changed. This was due to the fact that the pilot noted normal engine indications combined with the lack of maintenance facilities. Thus the aircraft continued its journey with the same oil in the engines with which it left Seattle; this was confirmed by the subsequent analysis of the oil. No further oil pressure problems were observed, although it is likely the aircraft would have been operating in warmer temperatures at the end of February in comparison with those in December. The engine manufacturer suggested that engine damage could have occurred as a result of operating the engines at low temperatures with the wrong grade of oil. Whilst this may have been the case, it is surprising that any damage did not progress to the point where it became readily apparent during the subsequent flights, via Iceland, to Wick. In fact the pilot did report rough running of the right-hand engine, but the investigation revealed a problem only with the No 4 cylinder compression, which led to replacement of this cylinder. Since the compressions in all the cylinders were presumably assessed during the diagnosis, it must be concluded that any damage in the No 3 cylinder of the right engine was not, at that stage, significant. Ultimately, it was not possible to establish why pistons in both engines had suffered virtually identical types of damage, although it is likely to have been a ‘common mode’ failure, which could include wrong fuel, incorrect mixture settings (running too lean) and existing damage arising from the use of incorrect oil in cold temperatures. The oil analysis excluded the possibility of the aircraft having been mis-fuelled with Jet A-1 at Wick. No conclusion can be drawn regarding the possibility of one of the pilots having leaned the mixtures to an excessive degree, although this would require that either high cylinder head temperature indications were ignored, or that the temperature gauges (or sensors) on both engines were defective. The engines would have begun to fail when the combustion gases started to ‘blow by’ the pistons, causing progressive damage to the piston crowns, skirts and rings. This would have also caused pressurisation of the crankcases, which in turn would have tended to blow oil out of the crankcase breathers. In the case of the left engine, the pressurisation was such that the dipstick was blown out of its tube, resulting in more oil being lost overboard. This may have accounted for the more severe damage to the left engine, having lost more oil than the right. The detached No 1 cylinder base jet oil nozzle in the left engine may have contributed to a slight reduction in the oil pressure, but is otherwise considered to have played no part in the engine failure.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft C90GTi King Air off Oranjestad

Date & Time: Apr 3, 2012 at 0920 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N8116L
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wichita - Fort Lauderdale - Willemstad - Belo Horizonte
MSN:
LJ-2042
YOM:
2011
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
11700
Captain / Total hours on type:
2600.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3649
Copilot / Total hours on type:
33
Aircraft flight hours:
14
Circumstances:
On April 3, 2012, about 0920 atlantic standard time (ast), a Hawker Beechcraft C90GTx, N8116L, operated by Lider Taxi Aereo, was substantially damaged after ditching in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, 17 miles north of Aruba, following a dual loss of engine power during cruise. The flight departed Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was destined for Hato International Airport (TNCC), Willemstad, Curacao. The airline transport pilot and the pilot rated passenger were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan was filed for the delivery flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The Amsterdam arrived at the ditching location at 1120. The airplane was partially submerged. The crew of the Amsterdam attempted to prevent the airplane from sinking by placing a cable around it and hoisting it onboard. However during the attempted recovery, the fuselage broke in half and the airplane sank.
Probable cause:
Review of the fuel ticket revealed that the misspelled words; "Top Neclles" was handwritten on it. It was also signed by the pilot. Further review revealed that only 25 gallons had been uploaded to the airplane, and this number had been entered in the box labeled "TOTAL GALLONS DELIVERED". Review of the start reading and end reading from the truck meter also concurred with this amount. Furthermore, It was discovered that the "134 gallons" that the pilot believed had been uploaded to the airplane was in fact the employee number of the fueler that had topped off the nacelle tanks and had entered his employee number on the "FUEL DEL BY:" line. Utilizing the information contained on the fuel ticket, it was determined that the airplane had departed with only 261 gallons of fuel on-board. Review of performance data in the POH/AFM revealed that in order to complete the flight the airplane would have needed to depart with 328 gallons on-board.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage in the Caribbean Sea

Date & Time: Nov 24, 2011 at 0823 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N534P
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Aguadilla - Saint George
MSN:
46-36423
YOM:
2007
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2175
Captain / Total hours on type:
643.00
Aircraft flight hours:
215
Circumstances:
While delivering the single-engine, turbine-powered airplane to Brazil during a multiple leg trip, the pilot decided to fly direct from his departure airport in Puerto Rico to his destination airport in Grenada instead of following the island chain and staying within power-off gliding distance of the shore. During the cruise portion of the flight, a total loss of engine power occurred over open water in visual meteorological conditions at 27,000 feet, about 119 miles west of a suitable landing area. During the loss of power, the engine torque indication dropped from the cruise power setting to 0 foot-pounds (ft-lbs) of torque, the engine then began to vibrate, and smoke began emanating from the engine. The pilot ditched the airplane, it sank, and it was not recovered. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were rescued by a French Navy helicopter. The pilot said that he had decided to take a direct route instead of staying closer to the island chain between the two airports because he had ferried 3 airplanes down to Brazil in the last year and that it was a judgment call and a calculated risk because the engine was reliable. At the airplane’s planned operating altitude of 27,000 feet, the airplane could have glided about 54 miles; if the route had been planned to take advantage of this glide distance, the pilot could have remained off shore island chain and taken a shorter, although not direct, route. Review of fueling documentation, the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), and statements made by the pilot and pilot-rated passenger also revealed that on the accident flight, good operating practices were disregarded. For instance, during fueling, the airplane which was not equipped with fuel heaters, had been topped off with fuel, but no fuel icing additive had been added, even though the pilot was planning to operate the airplane at 27,000 feet. The airplane was also operated in excess of the manufacturer's published weight limitations, and no power setting or performance information was available for climb and cruise operations in excess of these limitations. Furthermore, according to the pilot, before the loss of engine power, the torque was about 937 ft-lbs. According to the pilot-rated passenger, before the failure, the torque gauge was indicating about 980 ft-lbs. Review of the maximum cruise performance chart in the POH and Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) revealed that both of the stated torque settings exceeded the maximum torque setting listed on the chart. Operating the engine beyond the recommended power settings specified in the POH/AFM for a prolonged period will result in accelerated deterioration due to hot section component distress and will affect engine reliability and durability.
Probable cause:
The total loss of engine power during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was not recovered. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to comply with the airplane and engine limitations, and his decision to fly over water beyond power-off gliding distance from shore.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S in Rankin Inlet

Date & Time: Jul 18, 2010 at 1330 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N5800H
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Portland - Rankin Inlet - Iqaluit - Bern
MSN:
500-3082
YOM:
1970
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
23100
Captain / Total hours on type:
40.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5400
Copilot / Total hours on type:
13
Circumstances:
The Aero Commander 500S had recently been purchased. The new owner of the aircraft retained the services of 2 experienced pilots to deliver the aircraft from Portland, Oregon, United States, to Bern, Switzerland. After having flown several positioning legs, the aircraft arrived at Rankin Inlet for refuelling. The aircraft was refuelled from two 45-gallon drums and was to continue on to Iqaluit, Nunavut. The pilot-in-command occupied the right seat and the pilot flying the aircraft occupied the left seat. The aircraft was at its maximum takeoff weight of 7000 pounds. Prior to take off, the crew conducted a run-up and all indications seemed normal. During the takeoff roll, the engines did not produce full power and the crew elected to reject the takeoff. After returning to the ramp, a second run-up was completed and once again all indications seemed normal. Shortly after second rotation, cylinder head temperatures increased and both Lycoming TIO-540-E1B5 engines began to lose power. The pilots attempted to return to the airport, but were unable to maintain altitude. The landing gear was extended and a forced landing was made on a flat section of land, approximately 1500 feet to the southwest of the runway 13 threshold. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained substantial damage.
Probable cause:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:
1. At the fuel compound, the 45-gallon drum containing slops was located near the stock of sealed 45-gallon drums of 100LL AVGAS, contributing to the fuel handler selecting the drum of slops in error.
2. The 45-gallon drum of slops had similar markings to the stock of sealed 45-gallon drums of 100LL AVGAS, preventing ready identification of the contaminated drum.
3. The fuel handler did not notice that the large bung plug was not sealed on the second 45-gallon drum and, as a result, delivered the drum of slops to the aircraft.
4. The pilots did not notice that the large bung plug was not sealed on the second 45-gallon drum and, as a result, fuelled the aircraft with contaminated fuel.
5. The pilots were inexperienced with refuelling from 45-gallon drums and did not take steps to ascertain the proper fuel grade in the second 45-gallon drum. As a result, slops, rather than 100LL AVGAS, was pumped into the aircraft’s fuel system.
6. The fuel system design was such that the fuel from both wing fuel cells combined in the centre fuel cell and, as a result, contaminated fuel was fed to both engines.
7. The contaminated fuel resulted in engine power loss in both engines and the aircraft was unable to maintain altitude after takeoff.
Finding as to Risk:
1. The impact force angles were substantially different from that of the ELT’s G-switch orientation. As a result, the ELT did not activate during the impact. This could have delayed search and rescue (SAR) notification.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft 100 King Air in Bauru: 1 killed

Date & Time: Oct 12, 2008
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N525ZS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bauru – Sorocaba
MSN:
B-66
YOM:
1971
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Bauru Airport, the twin engine aircraft encountered difficulties to maintain a positive rate of climb. It then descended until it impacted ground about 5 km from the airport. The pilot, sole on board, was killed. He was supposed to deliver the aircraft at Sorocaba Airport.

Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 in Santa Fe: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 29, 2008 at 2216 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N606SL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
New York - Lubbock - Santa Fe
MSN:
1020
YOM:
2008
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2437
Captain / Total hours on type:
86.00
Aircraft flight hours:
130
Circumstances:
The pilot was approaching his home airport under dark night conditions. He reported that he was five miles from the airport and adjusted the airport lighting several times. He made no further radio calls, though his normal practice was to report his position several times as he proceeded in the landing pattern. The airplane approached the airport from the southeast in a descent, continued past the airport, and adjusted its course slightly to the left. One witness reported observing the airplane enter a left turn, then pitch down, and descend at a steep angle. The airplane impacted terrain in a steep left bank and cart wheeled. An examination of the airframe, airplane systems, and engine revealed no pre-impact anomalies. Flight control continuity was confirmed. The pilot had flown eight hours and 30 minutes on the day of the accident, crossing two time zones, and had been awake for no less than 17 hours when the accident occurred. The accident occurred at a time of day after midnight in the pilot's departure time zone. Post-accident toxicology testing revealed doxylamine and amphetamine in the pilot's tissues. The pilot had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) almost five years prior to the accident and had taken prescription amphetamines for the disorder since that diagnosis. The FAA does not medically certify pilots who require medication for the control of ADHD. At the time of the accident, the pilot's blood level of amphetamines may have been falling, and he may have been increasingly fatigued and distracted. The use of doxylamine (an over-the-counter antihistamine, often used as a sleep aid) could suggest that the pilot was having difficulty sleeping.
Probable cause:
The pilot's incapacitation due to fatigue resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing 737-291 near Toacaso: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2008 at 2103 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
YV102T
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Caracas – Latacunga
MSN:
21545/525
YOM:
1978
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
9018
Captain / Total hours on type:
5915.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
989
Aircraft flight hours:
60117
Aircraft flight cycles:
52091
Circumstances:
The aircraft was parked at Caracas Airport for a while and had just been sold to an Ecuadorian operator. A crew of three departed Caracas-Maiquetía-Simón Bolívar Airport in the evening on a delivery flight to Latacunga, Ecuador. After being cleared to descend to FL180, FL150 then FL130, the crew was flying over a mountainous area when the GPWS alarm sounded. The crew apparently elected to gain height but the alarm sounded for 22 seconds when the aircraft collided with the Iliniza Volcano. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all three occupants were killed. The wreckage was found the following day at an altitude of 3,992 metres.
Probable cause:
Non-compliance by the crew of the technical procedures, configuration, speed and bank angle of the aircraft required for the completion of the initial turn of the Instrument Approach Procedure n°4 published in the AIP Ecuador, to Latacunga Airport, a failure that placed the aircraft outside of the protected area (published pattern), leading to high elevation mountainous terrain.
Contributing factors:
- Ignorance of the crew of the area which was under the approach path.
- Lack of documentation and procedures of the airline that govern the conduct of flights to non-scheduled and special airports.