Embraer 120 ditches in Indian Ocean, passengers survive

Washington DC
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An Embraer 120 Brasilia crashed in the Indian Ocean on 27 November while trying to make an emergency landing for unknown reasons.

All 25 passengers and four crew members survived the water ditching on the approach path to the Moroni airport on Comoros island, which lies in the Indian Ocean between the northern tip of Madagascar and Mozambique.

The owner of the 30-seat twin-engine aircraft, Inter Iles Air, says in a statement the Embraer 120 departed from Moroni at 13:21, but the pilot quickly requested to make an emergency landing.

On the final turn on approach, the aircraft lost altitude and forced the pilot to ditch the aircraft in the ocean, Inter Iles says. Nearby fishing and patrol boats rescued the passengers and crews.

The pilot has over 5,000h in flight time, including 2,000h in the Embraer 120. The co-pilot has more than 5,000h of total flight time, the airline says.

Inter Iles says the aircraft was refurbished in Europe and maintained under Part 145 standards. It had cleared an inspection by the French civil aviation authority only a week before the water ditching.

The incident remains under investigation by Comorian and French authorities, the airline says.