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Columbian 737-700 crash

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Columbian 737-700 crash

Old 08-16-2010, 09:04 AM
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Default Columbian 737-700 crash

Jet splits apart in Colombia crash - CNN.com
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:54 AM
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BOGOTA, Colombia (Aug. 16) -- A Boeing 737 jetliner carrying 131 people crashed in a thunderstorm and broke apart as it slid onto the runway on a Caribbean island on Monday. The region's governor said it was a miracle that only one person died.

Colombian Air Force Col. David Barrero said officials were investigating reports the plane had been hit by lightning before crashing at 1:49 a.m. (3:49 a.m. EDT; 0649 GMT) on San Andres Island, a resort area of 78,000 people about 120 miles (190 kilometers) east of the Nicaraguan coast.

San Andres Gov. Pedro Gallardo said 125 passengers and six crew members had been aboard Aires Flight 8520, but the only person killed was Amar Fernandez de Barreto, 68.

Passenger Ricardo Ramirez, a vacationing civil engineer, told Caracol Radio that all had seemed normal, even though the plane was flying through a storm, with flashes of lightning, as it neared the airport.

"The plane was going perfectly, we practically going to land, everything was under control," he said. The accident "appeared out of nowhere."

The plane hit short of the runway and slid forward on its belly as the fuselage fractured and bits of landing gear and at least one engine were ripped off.

"When we fell, we wound up on the pavement still in the seats, said Ramirez, who struggled to free himself and his wife from their safety belts.

"We tried to get out of the plane because the plane was starting to shoot flames," he said. "In a few minutes, a police patrol arrived and helped us."

Survival was "a miracle of God. Thanks to God we are alive," Ramirez said, though his wife suffered a dislocated shoulder.

The jet wound up on one end of the runway, crumpled and in pieces, as passengers scrambled or were helped to safety.

Firefighters quickly doused the beginnings of a fire on a wing, said police Gen. Orlando Paez.

Ninety-nine passengers were taken to the Amor de Patria Hospital on San Andres, said the hospital director, Dr. Robert Sanchez.

"It's incredible. For the dimension (of the accident), there should be more," he said.

Sanchez said an initial examination indicated that Fernandez de Barreto may have died of a heart attack.

Twenty other passengers were treated at another clinic, according to the national civil aviation agency.

Barrero, commander of the Caribbean Air Group, said by telephone from San Andres that "the skill of the pilot kept the plane from colliding with the airport."

He said the cause of the accident was uncertain. "You can't speculate. Lightning? A gust of wind? The investigation will say."

Dr. Ricardo Villarreal, director of the clinic of the same name, said the pilot suffered minor fractures of the hand or wrist (edit: no other pilot was in the airplane, just some drooling sloth in the right front seat) and some scratches and was under observation. He identified him as Wilson Gutierrez.

The airline, Aerovias de Integracion Regional SA, said in a Twitter posting that it has 20 planes, including 10 Boeing 737-100 planes.

It said it was "working and investigating with the aeronautical authorities to determine the causes of what happened."

Barrero said part of the 7,800-foot (2,380-meter) runway had been closed because parts of the plane were still scattered across it. But enough was usable that air ambulances would be able to land.

Paez said by telephone that a group of police officers who had been waiting at the airport for the plane to take them back to the Colombian mainland aided in rescuing the victims.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:12 PM
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Can't believe no one is commenting on this at all. This is a pretty unique accident and there are hardly any details on it. The passenger accounts are pretty interesting in that they have no comments. Everything was fine until they were over the runway and suddenly the aircraft broke up is what most of them are saying. All the same story.

Anybody have any ideas on what it could have possibly been?
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:46 PM
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Crash in a thunderstorm, hitting short of the runway. Hardly unique except so many survived.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Twin Wasp View Post
Crash in a thunderstorm, hitting short of the runway. Hardly unique except so many survived.
I would have to say that it is unique in the sense the way the hull just broke into three. Crash in a thunderstorm - I have been on short final, long final, you name it during a thunderstorm and have yet to have this happen.

So to say the least, I would like to avoid this kind of outcome. Not flying around thunderstorms isn't an option and from the many passenger accounts on turbulence and it's lack there of, I'm not convinced they flew right through the storm.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:24 PM
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I am guessing a huge downdraft (microburst) from a cell sitting on top of the field! But too soon to tell.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:53 AM
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Spoke with a former Aires pilot who had told me that San Andres is a crew qual airport. The dreaded "black hole" FWIW.
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