Tuesday, 20th of December, 2016

– Colombia

Aerosucre Flight 157, a cargo flight from Puerto Carreno German Olano Airport (PCR/SKPC), Colombia, to Bogota-Eldorado Airport (BOG/SKBO), Colombia, operated with a Boeing 727-2J0 (F) Advanced, MSN 21105/1158, first flew in 1975, with a total of 60199 hours on the airframe, registration HK-4544, crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Carreno German Olano Airport (PCR/SKPC), Colombia.

The airplane was destroyed. Five crew members from the six onboard perished. (5 fatalities, 1 survivor)

The crash of Flight 157 is the 119th loss of a Boeing 727.

– Details:

A Boeing 727 cargo plane, operated by Aerosucre Colombia, was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Carreño Airport in Colombia. One of the six crew members survived the accident.

The aircraft arrived at Puerto Carreño at 14:48 hours local time after a cargo flight from Bogota. Some 20,423 pounds of cargo was offloaded and new cargo was loaded for the return leg to Bogota. Meanwhile, at 15:00 hours the aircraft became uncontrolled as had been published per Notam.

In the minutes before the planned departure, a Cessna 208 and an Embraer ERJ-170 passenger plane took off from runway 07. The wind at the time was about 010 degrees at 8 knots.

Subsequently the Boeing 727 taxied onto the runway, backtracking to the runway 25 threshold. At the same time the crew worked the respective checklists prior to takeoff and made a blind radio transmission, stating their imminent departure from Puerto Carreño. The aircraft then made a 180° turn and aligned for takeoff. Flaps were set at 30° and 6° elevator trim units were selected. The flight crew then noted that they did not know the direction and intensity of the wind.

Takeoff was commenced at 17:18 hours.

After travelling the entire length of the 1800 m long runway, the aircraft had not become airborne. It travelled another 95 meters over grass until it struck a section of the perimeter fence. It crossed a road, hit a shed and a tree. The aircraft became airborne, but as a result of the impact, the right hand main landing gear had separated, the trailing inboard right flap was damaged, a loss of power in engine no.3 occurred and a leakage of hydraulic fluid from System A was noticed by the crew.

The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 790 feet and entered a slight right hand descending turn until it impacted flat terrain, bursting into flames.

The weight and balance manifest of the accident flight was not found among the remains of the aircraft, nor was a copy of it in the company’s office. It is presumed that the aircraft took off from Puerto Carreño with 19,820 pounds distributed on 9 pallets. According to the flight plan, there were five persons on board. In fact there was a sixth person on the flight.

– Cause:

“-Inadequate flight planning by the operator of the aircraft, and by the crew, by failure to properly perform dispatch procedures, takeoff performance calculations and verification of limitations imposed by operational conditions of the aerodrome according to the configuration of the aircraft.

– Wrong crew decision making by not considering a key aspect affecting aircraft performance, such as the prevailing tailwind at takeoff.

– Erroneous selection of takeoff speeds V1/VR and V2, by the crew, corresponding to an aircraft without modification in its flap system, which led to rotate the aircraft with five more knots of speed, increasing the takeoff run.

– Erroneous rotation technique applied by the Pilot, delayed maneuver that extended the long takeoff run even more.

– Loss of components (landing gear, trailing inboard flap right) and damage to functional systems (loss of engine power n°3 and hydraulic system) necessary to control the aircraft in flight.

– Loss of control in flight generated by asymmetries of lift, power and emptying of the main hydraulic systems that exceeded the capacity of the crew and made it impossible to maintain adequate directional control and stability of the aircraft.

Contributing Factors:

– Non-compliance with the Aeronautical Regulations by the operating company of the aircraft, operating to an aerodrome unsuitable for the operation of B727-200 equipment, which, in addition, was not authorized for that type of aircraft in the company’s Operating Specifications, approved by the Aeronautical Authority.

– Lack of standardization and supervision of the operating company of the aircraft, allowing the operation of the B727-200 equipment, to which a modification had been applied to the flap system, with the reference tables of speeds corresponding to the aircraft without modification.

– Execution of take-off with a weight that exceeded the maximum value established in the aircraft performance charts for the conditions prevailing at the Germán Olano airport.

– Omission of the crew by not activating the Standby hydraulic system, which might have allowed emergency hydraulic pressure, to regain control of the aircraft.

– Lack of supervision by the Aeronautical Authority, which allowed for several years the operation of equipment B727-200 of the company operating the aircraft at the Germán Olano aerodrome in Puerto Carreño, when the characteristics of the aerodrome did not allow it and without the operator being authorized to operate equipment B727-200 in that aerodrome.”

– Report: