Aero Caribbean Flight 883

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Aero Caribbean Flight 883
An Aerocaribbean ATR 72, similar to the accident aircraft.
Accident summary
Date 4 November 2010
Summary Icing (Investigation is still open as some questions are unanswered)
Site Guasimal, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba
21°44′39″N 79°28′16″W / 21.744194°N 79.470978°W / 21.744194; -79.470978Coordinates: 21°44′39″N 79°28′16″W / 21.744194°N 79.470978°W / 21.744194; -79.470978
Passengers 61
Crew 7
Fatalities 68 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type ATR-72-212
Operator Aero Caribbean
Registration CU-T1549
Flight origin Toussaint Louverture International Airport, Port-au-Prince
Stopover Antonio Maceo Airport, Santiago de Cuba
Destination José Martí International Airport, Havana
Aero Caribbean Flight 883 is located in Cuba
Aero Caribbean Flight 883
Location of the accident shown within Cuba.

Aero Caribbean Flight 883 was an international scheduled passenger flight from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Havana, Cuba, via Santiago de Cuba. On 4 November 2010, the Aero Caribbean ATR-72-212 operating the route crashed in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus, killing all 61 passengers and 7 crew members aboard. It is the joint deadliest accident involving the ATR 72 (Flights 4184 and 883 have killed 68 people), and the third deadliest aviation accident in Cuba.

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft involved was an ATR-72-212, registration CU-T1549,[1] in use with Aero Caribbean since October 2006.[2] It was delivered from the production line in 1995 to its first owner, Continental Express. The Cuba-based company, Aero Caribbean, was the third owner and bought it in 2006.[3] According to the manufacturer, the plane had accumulated almost 25,000 flight hours in more than 34,500 flights.[2] Aero Caribbean is wholly owned by the government of Cuba.[4]

Crash[edit]

The flight originated in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.[5] The aircraft departed Santiago de Cuba en route to Havana around 16:50 local time (20:50 UTC).[6] It was the last flight out of Santiago de Cuba airport before it was closed because of the approach of Hurricane Tomas.[7] At 17:42, the aircraft crashed near the town of Guasimal in Sancti Spíritus province, some 210 miles (340 km) southeast of Havana, after issuing an emergency call.[6] Witnesses said the plane was "flying low and appeared unstable ... pouring out smoke and fire", before hearing an explosion.[2]

Medical facilities in Guasimal were put on alert to prepare for emergency patients. However, by midnight they were told to stand down as no survivors were expected.[2]

The accident was the deadliest involving the ATR 72 at the time it happened. It was also the third deadliest aircraft accident in Cuba,[1] after the crash of a Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin IL-62M on 3 September 1989, which killed a total of 171 people,[8] and the crash of an Aeroflot Ilyushin IL-62M on 27 May 1977, which killed a total of 69 people.[9]

Search and recovery[edit]

In order to allow access to the crash site, rescue workers had to use bulldozers to plow through thick vegetation.[10] The aircraft was completely destroyed by the impact and resulting explosion, and all the victims' bodies were badly burned.[11] Investigators believe that the passengers had no time to react because all bodies were found in their own seats, which helped investigators with identifications.[12] The wreckage burned for hours after the crash.[13] The recovered bodies were to be sent to Cuba's Institute of Legal Medicine for identification.[2]

The day after the crash, on 5 November, rescue workers recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. They were turned over to investigators for inspection and analysis.[2]

Passengers and crew[edit]

The passengers and crew were of various nationalities.

Nationality Crew Passengers Total
Cuba Cuban 7[2] 33[2] 40
Argentina Argentine - 10[14] 10
Mexico Mexican - 7[15] 7
Netherlands Dutch - 3[16] 3
Australia Australian - 2[17] 2
France French - 1[18] 1
Germany German - 1[14] 1
Italy Italian - 1[18] 1
Japan Japanese - 1[5] 1
Spain Spanish - 1[18] 1
Venezuela Venezuelan - 1[18] 1
Total 7 61 68

Investigation[edit]

The Instituto de Aeronáutica Civil de Cuba took responsibility for investigating the accident in Cuba with assistance from ATR and the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA).[19][20] On November 16 the investigation authority presented the final report following analysis of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. It concluded that a combination of extreme weather conditions caused severe icing which along with bad crew operating procedures ultimately led to the loss of the aircraft in a similar set of circumstances to the American Eagle Flight 4184 incident which occurred with the same type of aircraft in 1994 with the same number of fatalities. ATR confirmed that the aircraft was in optimal technical condition.[citation needed]

Reactions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Plane with 68 said to have crashed in Cuba". Reuters. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Aero Caribbean CU-T1549 (ATR 42/72 - MSN 459) (Ex EC-HBU N12903 ) | Airfleets aviation". Airfleets.net. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  4. ^ Flight International 27 March 2007
  5. ^ a b "Passenger plane crashes in Cuba". BBC News Online. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Plane With 68 Said to Crash in Cuba". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Aerocaribbean AT72 near Guasimal on Nov 4th 2010, impacted ground after emergency call". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Accident description". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Rescuers pulling bodies from Cuba plane crash". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Rescuers find black box of crashed Cuban plane". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Rescue workers remove bodies from Cuba plane crash". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Malkin, Elisabeth (5 November 2010). "Cuban Plane Crash Kills 68 People". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Quiénes son los fallecidos argentinos en el accidente" (in Spanish). La Nación. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Пассажирами разбившегося на Кубе самолета были граждане 11 стран" (in Russian). Lenta. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "3 Nederlanders dood bij crash Cuba" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  17. ^ Australians killed in Cuba plane crash Australian Broadcasting Corporation - (6 November 2010 ) - Retrieved 6 November 2010
  18. ^ a b c d "Relación de fallecidos en el accidente de la aeronave ATR-72-212" (in Spanish). Juventud Revelde. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "ATR statement on Aero Caribbean Flight 883". ATR. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  20. ^ "Flight 883 on 4 November 2010 ATR 72-212, registered CU-T1549". Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "Zuma condoles Cuba after plan crash." BuaNews. November 5, 2010. Retrieved on November 5, 2010.
  22. ^ "Kondolencje po katastrofie kubańskiego samolotu" (in Polish). Office of the President of Poland. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  23. ^ France sends condolences to Cuba over fatal air crash. Nov. 6. 2010. People's Daily.