Engines eyed in CATA crash

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Engine failure is being investigated as a possible factor in last week's Fairchild FH-227B crash in Argentina. The aircraft operated by Argentinian charter and cargo carrier CATA Lineas Aéreas crashed shortly after take-off from Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International Airport on 26 October, killing all five crew on board.

The 36-year-old twin-turboprop (LV-MGV) was performing a domestic newspaper flight to Corrientes. The aircraft left Ezeiza at 04:28 and around 2 min later, transmitted an emergency call reporting unidentified 'technical problems' to the tower, requesting immediate clearance to return to the airport.

According to witnesses, the Rolls-Royce Dart-powered aircraft attempted a wheels-up landing at a golf course around 5km (3 miles) south of Ezeiza. But after touching down and travelling about 200m (650ft), it apparently hit a tree, broke apart and caught fire.

Based on witness statements that talk of a left-hand engine failure, and an unusual noise, Argentinian air force investigators are evaluating engine failure as a contributory factor, but are trying to establish whether the aircraft was overloaded.

Both flight recorders have reportedly been recovered.