As investigations continue into four crashes, Peruvian authorities reveal 737 pilots set out expecting fair weather

The crew of a TANS Peru Boeing 737-200Adv which crashed on approach in bad weather and poor visibility took-off from Lima believing at their destination airport Pucallpa would be good, investigators have revealed.

The 22 August crash, which killed 40 of the 98 passengers and crew, occurred as the aircraft attempted a non-precision approach in marginal conditions. The airport was not equipped with an instrument landing system.

Meanwhile in Europe, Italian investigators have recovered the cockpit voice and flight data recorders (CVR/FDR) from the Tuninter ATR 72 twin-turboprop that ditched in the Mediterranean Sea north of Palermo, Sicily, following the flameout of both engines.

The TANS Peru casualty figures were revised after two more survivors were found but one of those rescued earlier died (Flight International, 30 August–5 September). Parts of the Amazon basin are notorious for sudden weather changes, and about 10min before the crash an unspecified STAR Peru aircraft had made a safe landing at Pucallpa. The airport has an on-airfield VOR/distance measuring equipment navigation beacon that would have enabled a non-precision let-down.

Italy’s air accident investigation agency, ANSA, having doubted the feasibility of recovering the CVR and FDR from the ATR 72 that crashed into the sea near Palermo on 6 August (Flight International, 16-22 August), says it has them and they are being downloaded in Rome. The recovery operation, working at a depth of 1,400m, has also found the remains of three missing passengers, confirming fatalities at 16.

Under another ongoing investigation, the Greek Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board (AAIASB) has dispatched officers to Cyprus to study the maintenance and operations records of Cypriot carrier Helios Airlines, which suffered a fatal 737-300 crash near Athens on 14 August. AAIASB chief Capt Akrivos Tsolakis has asked Flight International to clarify that he has not stated there was internal concern among Helios engineers about the 737’s fitness to fly (Flight International, 23-29 August).

French investigation agency BEA has been called in to carry out the probe into the 16 August West Caribbean Airways fatal crash in Venezuela after a double flameout (Flight International, 23-29 August). The charter flight was carrying French passengers to the French Caribbean island of Martinique.


Source: Flight International