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Colombian DC-3 crash

Old 11th Jul 2021, 14:49
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Colombian DC-3 crash

It has been reported that an Aliansa DC-3 (HK-2820) crashed minutes after take off on July 8th, 2021. The aircraft came down in a mountainous area of ​​the municipality of Restrepo, in the department of Meta (Colombia) whilst on a post-maintenance test flight. The C-47A started its fatal flight from Villavicencio-La Vanguardia Airport in Villavicencio. All three occupants were killed.
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Old 12th Jul 2021, 19:35
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Poor maintenance will bring any aircraft down eventually. I wouldn't be surprised to hear if that applies in this case. The DC3/C47 is a tough machine and will go on for years if looked after and handled correctly. Villavicencio doesn't appear have an enviable safety record of DC3 operations.
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Old 13th Jul 2021, 15:40
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Considering the number of DC-3s which have crashed outside Colombia over the past 20 years or so, I don't regard your generalization as fair comment. These Colombian DC-3s are in fact regularly and well maintained. They do however work very hard and operate in a very challenging environment. Since Villavicencio is the last bastion of regular DC-3 operations it stands to reason that if a DC-3 goes down in Colombia (for whatever reason) it will quite likely be outbound or inbound Villavicencio

A quick check reveals that between 2000 and 2021 56 DC-3s crashed around the world. Thirteen Colombian, fifteen U.S. and eight Canadian. The remainder were spread around. This list includes turbo powered examples such as the BT-67.

Last edited by Avman; 13th Jul 2021 at 15:53.
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Old 13th Jul 2021, 18:38
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Well, I've spent a lot of time around Dakotas/C47s/DC3s, call them what you will, including in locations that can't be described as 'first world'. Some of the maintenance I've seen outside of Europe could generously be passed off as sub-standard and happily accepted by nave aircrew. I wouldn't call Aliansa's 50% fleet attrition with fatalities as acceptable.
Likewise, I wouldn't call this 'documentary' for DC3 operations in Colombia a positive advertisement. I like the Latin laisse faire attitude but not in aviation.

Nonetheless, the latest crash is a sad event for crew, families and friends.

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Old 13th Jul 2021, 20:54
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A point to remember about Colombia is the elevation of most of their airports. Villavicencio is at 1394ft - not particularly high as they go. Pasto is 5950 ft, Bucaramanga 3902 ft. Pereira is at 4818 ft, and they are the smaller airports such as the DC-3s use. Even the 'lower' airports such as Mit are at 680 ft, (same as LBA), and the one thing they have in common is that they are all close to the Equator.
Surely the 'hot and high' combination is anathema to 70-80 year old piston engines. The loss of an engine on take-off on a DC-3 at those altitudes, especially if they have cargo on board, can only lead to one thing.
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Old 13th Jul 2021, 22:04
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Having a long-term interest in these craft I tried to find out a little more from the Colombian authority (Aerocivil).

Not being a Spanish speaker has made that difficult but I did see several references to this being a training flight on other sites. It could be that 'training flight' has become 'test flight' during the course of translation to English(?).

If so that may add a further possible factor in the mix of potential issues that caused this crash. In any event if someone who reads English + Spanish is able to navigate Aerocivil's site here it would be useful to know if they have a reasonable accident investigation branch and, if so, whether there is any further information (and/or when such information might be likely to be published).

One thing that did seem to survive translation across several reports is that the crash appeared to occur early (approx 5 mins) into the flight.

As a result and in thinking about the possible causes I did wonder if some of the control locks could still have been in place. Although comment has been made about maintenance quality these are tough birds and to have something fail so catastrophically that the machine would crash is probably not quite at the top of my 'likely' list (although I quite accept it as a possibility).
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 09:12
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DC3 down in Colombia

Aliansa Douglas DC-3 (HK-2820) performing a local test flight from Villavicencio, Colombia on July 8, 2021 crashed after taking off.

The aircraft was located and was destroyed by the impact. The three crew members on board died.

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Old 4th Aug 2021, 04:17
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Link to the accident investigation page:
There are no final reports for this year's accidents. The Aliansa DC-3 at Villavicencio is listed but there's no provisional report yet.
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 20:00
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From the paint scheme, had it been at the D Day anniversary, and the original landings too?
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