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21 dead in Chile plane crash

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21 dead in Chile plane crash

Old 7th Sep 2011, 12:25
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the crash may not have been caused by the wind, but the two failed attempts at landing WERE due to the wind. If the aircraft hand landed on one of those attempts, it could not have crashed.
I'm not sure that they made any attempt to land. If you watch the interview with the INAER pilot, you will see a sketch map in the background of the route taken by the aircraft. It circles the runway a couple of times - presumably observing the windsock - then crashes at about downwind leg for runway 32. The trace doesn't show any attempt at an approach or go-around.

The interview doesn't give the source of the trace - so it may not be accurate. But the crash position would be about where one would expect a configuration change such as flaps or gear down.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 16:39
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When were the fuel guages last calibrated?
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 08:39
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I doubt fuel gauge calibration would have been an issue. With 21 pax, to remain within the MTOW of 7700kg, the captain would have just filled the main (inboard) tanks, 700li each which gives just under 4 hours' endurance at a reasonable altitude/power setting, so she should of had a very good idea of her fuel situation
Casa 212 max demonstrated crosswind limitation is 20 knots, but not a limiting factor of course. What was the actual crosswind that day?
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 11:06
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What was the actual crosswind that day?
The INAER pilot said in the first interview (about 6:25) that when he landed earlier in the day wind was 30-50 knots variable, with strong gusts, and cloud base 400-500 metres. Not conditions that would be beyond the capability of an aircraft like a CASA 212.
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 20:04
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Some insight for you, people.

-The plane had not enough fuel to return and was heavily loaded.
-Aerodynamically, it wasnt good for crosswinds. It has a square fuselage and a high wing.
- Around 500 CASA 212 built, around 100 accidents. 20% ended in accident.
-Its a bad plane for ditchign, due to fixed gear. (As main gear contacts water, the plane will pitch down violently and the forward part will crash on the sea)
-That strip was the only one in the area.
-Chilean regulations for civil flights demand a viable alternate when flying to that AD, however this does not apply to military flights. As a matter of fact the chilean AF asks you to sign a waver of responsibility if ur a civillian flying with them.
- It was the pilots 2nd or 3d trip to that island
-There is no ATC nor AFIS or met reports. As a matter of fact the only witness was the major of the island waiting for them.
-Another plane had already landed that day a few hours before. Civillian op.
- It is said no fuel was found floating over the water (less density) some suggest starvation.
-Airplane pieces found yet are of small dimensions, suggesting a violent impact. No engines found yet, only landing gear piece.

Thats all I know for now. Ill keep you informed.
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Old 12th Sep 2011, 10:33
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I mentioned fuel guage calibration because of possible inaccuracies at the bottom of the scale. She may well have thought she had enough fuel for another attempt but it all went quiet with 50 kgs indicated.
Again there may not have been any water checks for a long time so there was 50kgs of water in the bottom.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 18:40
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Primary Debris Field Located

Minister of Defense Andres Allamand stated that the degree of fragmentation seen in the images confirm that it was "a brutal impact." Only the fragments most necessary for the investigation will be retrieved.








Last edited by Machaca; 16th Sep 2011 at 22:24.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 19:00
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The propellors suggest, and I emphasis suggest, that the aircraft was out of fuel at impact.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 19:24
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That photo can't have been taken in more than about 5m, judging by the viz, bottom conditions (sand, rippled), and ambient light. Doesn't really fit with the position of impact on the sketch map.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 21:02
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fareastdriver:
The propellors suggest, and I emphasis suggest, that the aircraft was out of fuel at impact.
How exactly does the evidence suggest such?
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 21:56
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La Tercera reported Sept 5th:

Pilot was warned of "crosswind" before attempting to land

GDAC weather observer informed the Lieutenant Carolina Fernandez about the conditions for landing.


"Affirmative, is received." This was the last communication from Lieutenant Fernández Carolina from the Casa 212 aircraft on Friday near Juan Fernandez, before the aircraft disappeared and crashed into the sea, leaving its 21 passengers dead and shocked the nation.

The words of the officer, who was piloting the aircraft, respond to information provided by the weather observer for the Department of Civil Aviation (DGAC), Carlos Parra, who works for more than 10 years at Juan Fernandez, delivering condition reports to aircraft landing on the island. At 16.48 hours is recorded the first radio contact between aircraft and Parra at the aeronautics station.

According to officials, Parra reported on the weather for all flights arriving at Juan Fernandez and did, moments before, with two other aircraft.

According to that testimony, which would be part of the three investigations conducted by the Fach, tells the pilot that there was a "Crosswind", which alert a gust of wind that crosses the track and can destabilize the aircraft.

She replied "yes, received." After that contact was lost with the plane.

According to the weather report the wind was 30 knots.

Second attempt

After attempting the first landing on the runway, the pilot initiated a second maneuver, and advised traffic on the open frequency.

These were the last links to the lieutenant, a few minutes before that she had made her last communication with the Control Center in Santiago, which had been in communication for more than two hours of flight.

According to the record, the last communication was around 16.27 hours. "Starting the descent and leaving controlled airspace for the island" were the last words that came out of the plane, before leaving the controlled area.

Last edited by Machaca; 16th Sep 2011 at 22:22.
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 22:21
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La Tercera reported on Sept 7th:

Fach discards thesis of lack of fuel or pilot inexperience

Fach Secretary General said that plane took off with 3,400 pounds of fuel, which allows a flight of four hours and 40 minutes.


The Casa 212 aircraft at the time of attempting approaches to Robinson Crusoe airfield had an hour and 43 minutes of fuel remaining.

This was confirmed yesterday by the secretary general of the Fach, Maximiliano Larraechea, in an extensive presentation, which was responsible for discarding versions that pointed to a possible lack of fuel, as a possible cause of the accident.

Larraechea answered in detail questions.

One of them referred to the experience of the crew of the ship. In this regard, said Lt. Larraechea and pilot Carolina Fernandez had been certified as archipelago flight commander traveling to Juan Fernandez and, as co-pilot Juan Pablo Mella, made that journey several times. He also explained that "between them they had experience totaling 1,500 hours of flight."

Another hypothesis that bothered the Fach was the possible lack of fuel as a cause of the tragedy. Larraechea dismissed the argument and clarified the plane took off with 3,400 pounds of fuel, 3,000 of them uplifted at the air base and 400 pounds already onboard. According to the secretary general of the Fach, this was sufficient to allow the CASA 212 to fly about four hours and 40 minutes.

The plane took off on Friday at 13.51 h, with a weight of 17,314 pounds. The maximum weight for this plane, according Larraechea are 17,857 lbs.

The crew faced the "point of no return" at 16.42 h. "It's a point that is scheduled to make the final decision to continue the flight or returned to origin," said Larraechea.

Upon reaching that point, the Oceanic Control confirmed that the conditions on the island allowed to continue. "He reported good visibility, good ceiling. Winds of some importance, but within the limitations of the aircraft," said Larraechea.

Six minutes after crossing the point of "no return" and almost three hours after takeoff, the crew made visual contact with the island. "They had a surplus of fuel an hour or 43 minutes," stressed the Secretary General of the Fach.

At that time they took an initial pass - not a landing attempt - to recognize and verify the conditions at the airfield, which were 25 knots with gusts. They subsequently aborted a landing approach" and went around. "Here they are showing very clearly that they were not facing a problem of fuel, or flight time as they had a lot of fuel. To do a lot of approaches," said the general.

Larraechea said that if they had lacked fuel, they could have made an emergency landing. "Using common sense, as a pilot if I'm low on fuel and my indicators tell me that I have no fuel to continue flying, I'll land the plane even if not ideal, I prefer to damage the plane in a bad landing but would not try to keep flying if I have no fuel.
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Old 17th Sep 2011, 09:50
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How exactly does the evidence suggest such?
The propellors are bent back. If there was any power at all, even idle power the propellors would drive and bend forward engaging a denser medium like water.
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Old 18th Sep 2011, 10:24
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Is the Minister of Defense, Andres Allamand, still on the island?
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Old 18th Sep 2011, 16:37
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DEFENSE MINISTER

Defense Minister Allamand is back in Santiago, Chile's capital for ceremonies remembering national day on the 18th Sept. and Armed Forces day on the 19th.
"Operation Loreto" in the Juan Fernandez Islands will resume with the use of new equipment supplied by US Armed Forces specialists and the main enphasis now is to retrieve larger parts on the airplane from under the sea off the island.
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Old 5th Nov 2011, 12:29
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La Nacion published some pictures and video (apparently recovered from the wreckace).

nacion.cl - TVN revela imágenes inéditas del vuelo de la tragedia
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Old 5th Nov 2011, 12:52
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In this regard, said Lt. Larraechea and pilot Carolina Fernandez had been certified as archipelago flight commander traveling to Juan Fernandez and, as co-pilot Juan Pablo Mella, made that journey several times.
Except in the video, Mallea is clearly in LHS, and Fernandez in RHS. I'd have thought they would have had better records of the composition of the flight crew.
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Old 5th Nov 2011, 14:00
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I can imagine the howling and wringing of hands in the UK if the BBC transmitted pictures of the passengers and crew of a British airliner on its last flight.
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Old 5th Nov 2011, 14:53
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That's pretty mild by the standards of some images they used to show on television in Argentina when I lived there in the 80s. I've not been back since so don't know whether they still show dead bodies in car crashes etc.

Last edited by Trim Stab; 5th Nov 2011 at 20:44.
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