Banat Air Flight 166

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Banat Air Flight 166
An Antonov An-24 similar to the aircraft involved in the accident.
Accident summary
Date 13 December 1995 (1995-12-13)
Summary Bad weather, human error (negligence), loss of control caused by ice formation on the wings, excess weight
Site Sommacampagna
near Verona Airport, Verona, Italy

45°22′34.56″N 10°51′24.82″E / 45.3762667°N 10.8568944°E / 45.3762667; 10.8568944Coordinates: 45°22′34.56″N 10°51′24.82″E / 45.3762667°N 10.8568944°E / 45.3762667; 10.8568944
Passengers 41
Crew 8
Fatalities 49 (all)
Aircraft type Antonov An-24B
Operator Banat Air (chartered from Romavia)
Registration YR-AMR
Flight origin Verona–Villafranca Airport
Destination Timişoara International Airport

Banat Air Flight 166 (registered YR-AMR) was an Antonov AN-24 chartered on 13 December 1995 by Banat Air from Romavia.

It was due to fly from Verona to Timişoara. It crashed on take-off due to 2-3 tonnes excess weight and ice accumulation on the wings, killing all eight crewmembers and 41 passengers. The accident was the 116th loss of an Antonov 24.[1]

Accident[edit]

Whilst parked in parking spot B6 at Verona-Villafranca Airport, snow fell continuously and the outside temperature was 0°C. After forty-one passengers boarded Flight 166 to Romania, the pilot declined to have the plane deiced. At just past 19:30 local time, the aircraft taxied to the end of runway 23; however heavy traffic delayed the departure.

When the Banat Air flight was cleared for takeoff, the outside temperature was below the freezing point. Shortly after lifting off, the aircraft reached its maximum speed. Banking to the right, the airspeed dropped dramatically, and so the pilot applied nose down elevator, causing the speed to increase again. Continuing their right hand bank, the flight crew again applied nose up elevator. The speed then dropped significantly, and the plane banked at sixty seven degrees. The pilots were unable to regain control of the plane and it struck the ground right-wing first, breaking up and bursting into flames.

Investigation[edit]

Investigators concluded that there were multiple causes for the accident, including the disruption of airflow over the wings due to ice formation on the wings, due to the plane taking off without being de-iced. They also determined that spatial disorientation and the plane being overloaded by about 2000 kilograms played key parts in the accident.

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