An American Airlines Boeing 757, which left Miami for Cali, Colombia on 20 December, crashed into mountains at night, killing all but four of the 167 people on board. The aircraft was on its descent into Cali from the north, which requires a step-letdown procedure using VHF-omni-range/distance-measuring-equipment navigation beacons. The aircraft hit a 12,000ft (3,660m) mountain near the town of Buga, at about 9,000ft and around 18km (10nm) to the east of the letdown track. Cali is in a steep-sided, north/south-orientated valley, with its runway aligned for the terrain (01/19), and the letdown procedure almost straight. The Colombian Civil Aviation Authority says that all navigation beacons were serviceable, the flight-data recorder and cockpit-voice recorder readouts implied no technical problems, and that the crew reacted to a ground-proximity warning-system alert, but too late to save the aircraft. There is no indication, as to why the 757 was off track.

Source: Flight International