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Aerosucre 727 crash probe missing aircraft weight data

Investigators probing the crash of an Aerosucre Boeing 727-200 freighter during departure have so far been unable to determine the take-off weight of the aircraft.

The 727 overran at Puerto Carreno as it attempted to depart the airport in a tailwind, Colombian accident investigation authority GRIAA has found.

But it has been unable to locate details of the manifest or the aircraft’s weight and balance during examination of the wreckage.

GRIAA adds that there was no copy of this information in the company’s offices.

The inquiry estimates that the aircraft, bound for Bogota, was transporting nine pallets containing 19,820lb – just under 9,000kg – of cargo, taking this assumption from the chartering company’s documents.

As the 727 conducted its take-off roll, it overran and struck the perimeter fence, as well as other obstacles, which badly damaged the jet. It became airborne for a short time before crashing in a field and being consumed by fire.

The flightplan submitted by Aerosucre, provided to the inquiry by the air traffic service of Puerto Carreno, listed five occupants on board the jet, although six were located at the crash site – five crew members and a cargo specialist.

Two of the six survived the initial impact but one succumbed to injuries while being transferred to hospital.

The captain of the aircraft had accumulated over 8,700h including more than 6,800h on type. The first officerhad nearly 3,300h on type.

GRIAA says the aircraft had previously arrived at Puerto Carreno from Bogota, carrying a load of perishable and miscellaneous freight weighing 20,423lb and some 31,500lb of fuel.

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