Stormy weather appears to have been a factor in an Argentinian McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 accident in which all 74 people on board were killed.

The 28-year-old Austral Lineas Aereas aircraft (LV-WEG) hit the ground in a 70¹ nose-down attitude in a marshy area near Nuevo Berlin, Uruguay, according to the safety officer of the country's main pilot union.

The 10 October crash occurred during a flight from Posadas, northern Argentina, to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. Both flight-recorders have been found and sent for downloading to the US National Transportation Safety Board.

There were electrical storms in the area, say Argentine air-traffic-control (ATC) reports, and it was while rerouting, ostensibly to avoid an area of severe turbulence, that the aircraft appears to have gone out of control.

ATC officials have suggested that the aircraft may have hit a storm-centre, although they confirm that the aircraft was equipped with weather radar. Pilots in the area allege that the Austral pilot had requested clearance to a lower level, but received no response, says the pilots' union.

A Scenic Airlines Cessna 208 Caravan (N12022) has crashed in Colorado, killing all nine people on board. Flown by an experienced professional pilot, the aircraft was chartered by the US Bureau of Reclamation to carry eight of its employees from Montrose, Colorado, to Page, Arizona, on 8 October.

The aircraft came down in woods on a Colorado plateau. There was no emergency call when it disappeared from the Salt Lake City Centre radar. The weather is believed to have been good, although not necessarily visual meteorological conditions.

Source: Flight International