24 Years ago today: On 13 December 1995 a Banat Air Antonov 24 crashed due to icing while taking off from Verona, Italy, killing all 49 occupants.

Date: Wednesday 13 December 1995
Time: 19:55
Antonov An-24V
Operating for: Banat Air
Leased from: Romavia
Registration: YR-AMR
C/n / msn: 77303309
First flight: 1967
Crew: Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers: Fatalities: 41 / Occupants: 41
Total: Fatalities: 49 / Occupants: 49
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location: 1,5 km (0.9 mls) from Verona Airport (VRN) (   Italy)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature: Int’l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Verona Airport (VRN/LIPX), Italy
Destination airport: Timisoara Airport (TSR/LRTR), Romania
Flightnumber: 166

Banat Air Flight 165 from Timisoara (TSR) landed at Verona-Villafranca Airport (VRN) at 18:43 and taxied to parking spot B6. Snow continued to fall with an outside temperature of 0°C. Forty-one passengers boarded the return flight (166) to Romania. The captain decided not to de-ice the airplane. At 19:34 the An-24 taxied to runway 23. Heavy traffic delayed the departure of Flight 166. A preceding Air France plane had to return to the apron after exceeding the 8-minute holdover time after de-icing.
At 19:52 the controller cleared the An-24 to enter the runway for takeoff. At the time of takeoff the wind was 290° at 02 kts, general visibility 1300 m., RVR 2000 m in haze and snow , overcast at 500 ft. and a temperature of 0° C, dew temperature below 0°C and QNH 1010.
Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft reached a maximum speed of 220 km/h. The Antonov banked right in order to reach the SID track of 239 degrees. The airspeed dropped to 179 km/h 25 seconds after becoming airborne. The pilot applied nose down elevator, causing the speed to increase again to 185 km/h. Continuing their right hand turn, the pilot applied nose up elevator again. The speed dropped to 155 km/h with a right hand bank reaching 67 degrees. Some 47 seconds after becoming airborne the speed dropped another 15 km/h. The pilots had lost control of the airplane which struck the ground right-wing first. The Antonov broke up and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

“Alla luce delle evidenze e delle analisi sviluppate in precedenza, la Commissione ritiene di poter trarre le seguenti conclusioni sull’incidente di volo:
* La causa probabile dell’incidente è stata la perdita di controllo dell’aeromobile dovuta alla degenerazione aerodinamica causata dalla formazione di ghiaccio conseguente alla decisione del Comandante di intraprendere il volo senza effettuare le operazioni “de-icing” ed “anti-icing” previste per le condizioni meteorologiche esistenti sull’aeroporto, come codificato nel manuale di volo (flight manual) del velivolo e nel manuale operativo di Compagnia.
Possibili fattori causali che hanno contribuito all’incidente sono da imputarsi a:
* probabile disorientamento spaziale dell’equipaggio determinato dall’anomalo comportamento aerodinamico del velivolo in condizioni meteorologiche di precipitazione nevosa, al buio, probabilmente con fari accesi, favorenti fenomeni illusori;
* sovrappeso di circa 2000 Kg. con cui è stato intrapreso il volo;
* mancata possibilità di controllo, da parte dell’Autorità, del piano di carico, in quanto non consegnato e non preteso dai rappresentanti della Società di Gestione aeroportuale e, quindi, non inoltrato all’Ufficio Traffico;
* sottovalutazione delle condizioni meteorologiche;
* leggero calo di potenza al motore destro.”

PROBABLE CAUSE: (translated from Italian)
“In the light of evidence and analysis developed previously, the Commission believes it can draw the following conclusions about the flight:
* The probable cause for the accident was the loss of control due to degeneration of aircraft aerodynamics caused by ice formation resulting from the decision of the commander to take off without “de-icing” and “anti-icing” given meteorological conditions that existed and the airport, and as laid down in the flight manual of the aircraft and the Operations Manual of the Company.
Possible factors that have contributed to the accident are:
* Likely spatial disorientation of the crew caused by anomalous aerodynamic behavior of the aircraft in weather conditions of snow, darkess, probably with the lights on, favoring illusory phenomena;
* It took off being overloaded by about 2000 kg.;
* The Authority, could not check the aircraft load sheet, since it had not been delivered nor demanded by the representatives of the Airport Management Company, and therefore not forwarded to the Traffic Office;
* Underestimation of the weather conditions;
* Slight decrease in power of the right hand engine.”