Crashed Honduran L-410 identified as HR-AUQ

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A Central American Airways Let L-410 aircraft which crashed on 14 February in Honduras has been identified as operating under Honduran registry HR-AUQ.

The aircraft was operating a scheduled flight from the coastal city of San Pedro Sula to the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, according to a local air force source. All 12 passengers and two crew members were killed in the crash.

The source adds that the accident occurred during final approach in a mountainous area 12.4mi (20km) south of Tegucigalpa Toncontin International Airport, near Santa Ana.

 
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At the time of the crash, reportedly around 08:00, meteorological data from Tegucigalpa shows visibility reduced to 5,000m and showers in the vicinity. Winds were from the north, indicating a likely approach to runway 02.

The area in which the crash occurred was the scene of another major accident in 1989, when a Boeing 727-200 operated by then national airline SAHSA crashed, killing 131 people.

The safety of Toncontin has been called into question in the past because of surrounding terrain, short runway and outdated navigation equipment. A TACA Airbus A320 overran the runway at the airport in 2008, killing five people.

Following the TACA accident, the Honduran Government promised to convert the US air force base at Soto Cano, located 44mi north of the capital, into its new international airport. However, internal political instability and lack of agreement with the USA prevented the project from proceeding.

Honduran president Porfirio Lobo yesterday promised to resume the project of creating a new international airport for Tegucigalpa at a safer location.