View Full Version : ATR42 missing in Venezuela

22nd Feb 2008, 00:30
A Santa Barbara Airlines craft is missing with 46 pax onboard in Venezuela. Bad weather reported.

Update: ATR42 flying from Mérida to Caracas.

In spanish:

22nd Feb 2008, 00:48
Reuters are reporting it as crashed.

22nd Feb 2008, 00:55
It looks like correct figures are 43 pax and 3 crew.

22nd Feb 2008, 02:25
Reuters ..

A Venezuelan commercial plane carrying up to 46 people went missing on Thursday soon after taking off from an Andean mountain city just before dusk, authorities said.
The plane of the local airline Santa Barbara flew out of the high-altitude city of Merida headed for the capital Caracas and by late Thursday had been out of contact with air traffic controllers for hours, the civil aviation authority said.
Authorities had not identified the location of the plane in the mountainous area and were sending search and rescue teams to check its whereabouts, Civil Defense chief Antonio Rivero told reporters.
"This causes a lot of fear, a lot of pain," he said.
It was still not confirmed if the plane had crashed or was simply missing, he added.
The state capital, also named Merida, is 680 km (422 miles) southwest of Caracas and is a popular destination for foreign tourists seeking outdoor activities such as hiking.
The plane was an ATR 42-300, a turboprop plane built by French-Italian company ATR, the civil aviation authority said in a statement.
It is the second serious incident involving a Venezuelan passenger plane in the country this year.
In January, a plane carrying 14 people, including eight Italians and one Swiss passenger, crashed into the sea close to a group of islands.

22nd Feb 2008, 12:45
Reports coming in that wreckage has been found

22nd Feb 2008, 14:00
CNN and others are reporting crashed plane found with NO survivors.

prayers for all concerned.

anyone know the wx at time of crash?

22nd Feb 2008, 14:44
Latest press report.


The weather was normal for Merida on Thursday, with some areas sunny and fog at higher elevations, said Lt. Luis Uzcategui of the Merida fire department.


Our thoughts are with them.

22nd Feb 2008, 16:06
the most important for pilots :confused: what cause the crash ??

22nd Feb 2008, 18:37
Buenos Aires news report the AC smashed against the slopes short after TO and pulverized. No further info was released.

23rd Feb 2008, 08:23
No survivors are expected following the crash (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/22/221751/updated-atr-42-missing-in-venezuela.html)of a Santa Barbara Airlines ATR 42-300 (http://www.atraircraft.com/public/atr/html/products/products.php?aid=520), the wreckage from which has been located after the aircraft vanished while operating between Merida and Caracas last night.
Search and rescue personnel on board helicopters located the wreck in the terrain of Los Conejos, some 6nm (11km) northwest of Merida’s Alberto Carnevalli Airport.
“By the nature of the impact it is presumed that there are no survivors,” says Venezuelan Instituto Nacional de Aeronautica Civil president Ramon Vinas.
The director of Venezuela’s emergency management agency, Proteccion Civil y Administracion de Desastres, Antonio Rivero has confirmed the location of the crash site.
Caracas lies on a flight path northeast of Merida; the wreckage is offset from this path by several miles. High terrain surrounds Merida Airport.
There were 43 passengers and three crew members on board the aircraft. It departed at 16:59 for Caracas, operating as flight 518. The aircraft, confirmed as being registered YV-1449, is a 22-year old example.

23rd Feb 2008, 09:55

From what I can understand there was no bad weather, and no problems were reported by the pilots, they were both from the same town in Madeira Islands/Portugal, and use to fly the said route in Venezuela quite often.

Before we start speculating, I think it is best to wait for some sort of official report.


23rd Feb 2008, 13:54
check this link, there are some pictures of the crash site and the departure procedure out of the high terrain areas.


Merida is a VFR airport, the rwy has 4% gradient, the landing is made north and the takeoff to south.

The accident is still under investigation, it is been speculated by locals that due to the good weather at the moment, the turn to the north east was made few miles earlier towars Caracas, again it just speculation, the authorities are still searching for the CVR, FDR.

We can see in the pictures that the crash site is a very steep area.
Our thoughts are with them.

23rd Feb 2008, 13:56
check this web site


23rd Feb 2008, 14:32
Based on the information provided so far, this accident has all of the characteristics of CFIT.
However with EGPWS installed (and operational) then this type of event should not occur.
Anybody able to confirm if this aircraft had EGPWS fitted?
It should have done based on ICAO requirements, but then not all countries / operators meet the ICAO standards (or maintain the equipment; cf reports of MD80 CFIT in Turkey).

23rd Feb 2008, 16:47
At the risk of stating the obvious , from the photos, it does rather look like the aircraft was going at full tilt when it hit the terra firma, someway below the ridgeline, I find it difficult to see how this could be done in Day/Dusk VMC on a northerly heading ? any suggestions ?

23rd Feb 2008, 17:52
any suggestions ?

I suggest waiting till FDR and CVR are read out, in order to have at least some idea of what actually happened.

However with EGPWS installed (and operational) then this type of event should not occur.

While we don't know yet what actually happened, and what was the equipment level of the crashed aircraft, it is true that the EGPWS will start shouting TERRAIN, TERRAIN! PULL UP! much earlier than ye olde GPWS. However, you still need to have some power reserve to climb and 42-300's climb performance is mighty dismal. Again, this might or might not have anything to do with the crash.

Merida is a VFR airport

ASN reports clouds half an hour before departure to be SCT013 and that turned to BKN013 half an hour after departure. Dunno 'bout mountain flying in Venezuela but on the plains where my homebase is located this is no VMC.

27th Feb 2008, 15:47
Venezuelan Airline Keeps Planes Grounded After Deadly Crash
EFE Ingles
via NewsEdge Corporation

Caracas, Feb 26 (EFE).- Venezuela's Santa Barbara Airlines announced Tuesday that it has voluntarily postponed the resumption of flights with turbo-prop planes of the type involved in a crash last week that left 46 people dead.
The decision "is in line with the need to provide our crew members, flight assistants and other comrades with the emotional and spiritual stability that after these difficult moments they will need to start doing their jobs again," the company said in a communique.
He said the decision was taken "after the positive results of the auditing and operational controls undertaken by the National Civil Aviation Institute (INAC), which verified the optimum state of our fleet and its compliance with all the regulations."
The aircraft involved in last Thursday's crash was a twin-engine ATR 42-300, built by ATR, a joint venture of France's EADS and Italian manufacturer Finmeccanica.
The affected flights, one to Aruba and others on domestic routes, will be left to other airlines, Santa Barbara said, adding that it would continue regularly scheduled jetliner services to Spain, the United States and Ecuador.
Venezuelan authorities said that Tuesday would be the final day of recovery operations at the mountainside crash site 11 kilometers (7 miles) northeast of the western city of Merida.
The ill-fated plane with 46 people aboard slammed into an Andean peak 4,200 meters (13,770 feet) high.
The head of Civil Protection, Gen. Antonio Rivero, said that "more than 95 percent" of the victims' remains have been removed from the crash site for forensic experts (http://www.amtonline.com/article/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=5122&pageNum=2#) to identify in order to deliver them to their families.
INAC director Ramon Viñas said that the country's airports will undergo "a certification process" and that the airport at Merida "might strengthen flight restrictions when there are visibility problems."
Prosecutors have also summoned for next Tuesday Santa Barbara Airlines boss Jorge Alvarez, general counsel Franco Puppio and maintenance chief Cesar Guedez to report on the crew's latest training courses and medical exams, among other matters.
A French mission arrived in Venezuela this weekend to cooperate in the investigation and examine the two flight data recorders, or "black boxes," recovered from the crash site. EFE

pisstin broke
29th May 2009, 10:42
Any update on the investigation?

29th May 2009, 14:01
"I think it is best to wait for some sort of official report"

You must be young or Latino or both. Who would wait for an objective official report to come out of Venezuela? It wasn't always like that, but sadly it is now.

29th May 2009, 22:13
However with EGPWS installed (and operational) then this type of event should not occur.
Anybody able to confirm if this aircraft had EGPWS fitted?

Some time ago I was told that they dispatched with (E)GPWS inop! (The source tends to be quite reliable).

29th May 2009, 23:23
IIRC the ATR is one of the few aircraft where GPWS / EGPWS (TAWS) can be selected ‘OFF’ with a flight deck switch.
I recall an ATR CFIT accident where the EGPWS was OFF – a former Yugoslav country?

30th May 2009, 02:38
Yeah, remember that one... that was SiFly's ATR-42 that crashed in Kosovo/Serbia about 10 years ago..

30th May 2009, 03:08

You recall correctly. 3 posn selection Norm Flap (mode 4) inhibit and Off. Sw is guarded in Norm position.

10th Jun 2009, 22:43
Still waiting for a crash report on an MD-80 about 4 years ago with a bunch of French tourists.

Romeo India Xray
19th Jun 2009, 16:33
Still waiting for a crash report on an MD-80 about 4 years ago with a bunch of French tourists.

Just to make things clear, that wasn't Santa Barbara Airlines was it?

I have recently been doing quite a bit of work with Santa Barbara and I had not heard of that. Also, since the ATR accident, it would seem they have really picked their game plan up. SMS and TEM taken seriously now - at least that is the impression I got after spending a morning with their safety manager, and a couple of weeks with their crews. Obviosuly I don't have a "before" for comparison, but it doesn't seem as bad as many would have you believe in the light of the ATR.


20th Jun 2009, 01:29
yes it was Santa Barbara Airlines.... the cvr audio is available in youtube..

25th Jun 2009, 14:55
ATR tape available as well if youtube is correct.

25th Jun 2009, 19:32
yes it was Santa Barbara Airlines.... the cvr audio is available in youtube.
No, the OP was asking whether the MD-80 was Santa Barbara Airlines - it wasn't, it was West Caribbean Airlines.

Romeo India Xray
27th Jun 2009, 10:26
No, the OP was asking whether the MD-80 was Santa Barbara Airlines - it wasn't, it was West Caribbean Airlines.

Mike, thanks for clearing that up for me. I knew it wasn't Santa Barbara with the MD-80, but I wanted to check for the details the next time I am in CCS. You beat me to it.

I had found the ATR CVR on Youtube, but of course nothing re BBR MD-80.


27th Jun 2009, 14:10
You're welcome.

Incidentally: West Caribbean Airways - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Caribbean_Airways)

1st Jul 2009, 01:58
ooppsss my mistake, i thought he was talking about the ATR crash... there is also ( on youtube ) a "dramatization" of the West Carribean crash...

1st Jul 2009, 22:48
The youtube CVR can be heard here


The audio is in Spanish and it is not good quality but worth listening.

On this video you can read the voice transcription, since the audio was hard to understand.


Rest in peace.