LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470
A LAM Mozambique Airlines Embraer 190, similar to the one involved in the accident.
|Date||29 November 2013|
|Summary||Murder–suicide by pilot|
|Site||Bwabwata National Park, Namibia
|Aircraft type||Embraer 190|
|Operator||LAM Mozambique Airlines|
|Flight origin||Maputo International Airport, Maputo, Mozambique|
|Destination||Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, Luanda, Angola|
LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 was a scheduled LAM Mozambique Airlines passenger flight from Maputo International Airport, Mozambique that crashed on 29 November 2013 into the Bwabwata National Park in Namibia en route to Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, Angola. The aircraft operating the flight, an Embraer 190, departed Maputo at 11:26 CAT (09:26 UTC) and was due to land at 14:10 WAT (13:10 UTC), but failed to arrive at its destination. The wreckage of the aircraft was found the following day on 30 November 2013 at the Bwabwata National Park in northern Namibia, halfway between its departure and scheduled arrival airport. All 27 passengers and 6 crew members were killed. Preliminary findings show that the pilot intentionally crashed the jet.
It was the first fatal incident for the airline since 1970, and the deadliest for a Mozambican airline since the Mozambican presidential Tupolev Tu-134A-3 aircraft carrying President Samora Machel crashed in 1986.
The aircraft involved in the accident was an Embraer 190 with manufacturer serial number 581, registered as C9-EMC and named "Chaimite". Built in October 2012, it was first delivered to LAM Mozambique Airlines in November 2012 and had since accumulated 2905 flight hours in 1877 flight cycles. It was powered by two General Electric CF34-10E engines. The airframe and the engines were last inspected on 28 November 2013, one day before the crash.
The aircraft was cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet (11,582 m) over Botswana airspace about halfway between Maputo and Luanda when it began to lose altitude abruptly. The aircraft descended rapidly at a rate of about 100 feet (30 m) per second and was being tracked on radar. The aircraft's track was lost from screens at 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level. The last contact with air traffic control was made at 13:30 CAT (11:30 UTC) over northern Namibia during heavy rainfall.
Passenger and crew
LAM Mozambique Airlines confirmed there were a total of 33 people on board (27 passengers and 6 crew members). The Namibian Police Force Deputy Commissioner Willy Bampton stated that none of them survived the accident and that "the plane [was] completely burned to ashes."
The crew comprised two pilots, three cabin attendants, and a technician. The captain, Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, had logged 9,053 flight hours in total while the first officer had accumulated 1,418 hours of flying experience.
Response and investigation
The government of Mozambique announced it would declare a period of national mourning. Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva expressed condolence to victims' families. LAM Mozambique Airlines reported it was providing counselling and legal advice to families in both Mozambique and Angola and had set up an information hotline.
The pattern of debris indicated that the aircraft slid along the ground for several hundred yards.
Both flight recorders, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR), were recovered from the crash site within four days of the crash and were subsequently sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for readout.
On 21 December 2013, the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (Instituto Moçambicano de Aviação Civil, IACM) head João Abreu presented the preliminary investigation report, according to which Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes had a "clear intention" to crash the jet and manually changed its autopilot settings. The plane's intended altitude was reportedly changed three times from 38,000 feet (11,582 m) to 592 feet (180 m), the latter being below ground level, and the speed was manually adjusted as well. The cockpit voice recorder captured several alarms going off during the descent, as well as repeated loud bangs on the door from the co-pilot, who was locked out of the cockpit until shortly before the crash.
- List of accidents and incidents involving commercial aircraft
- EgyptAir Flight 990 – Suspected pilot suicide.
- Japan Airlines Flight 350 – Attempted murder-suicide; 24 fatalities
- Royal Air Maroc Flight 630 – Murder-suicide
- SilkAir Flight 185 – Murder–suicide
- Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 - Murder-suicide
- Federal Express Flight 705 - Attempted murder-suicide.
- "BBC News – Mozambique plane missing with 34 on board". BBC News. 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Crash: LAM E190 over Botswana/Namibia on Nov 29th 2013, captain intentionally crashed aircraft". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- "Accident record for LAM Mozambique Airlines". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Accident record for DETA Mozambique Airlines". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Missing Mozambican plane wreck found in Namibia, all 33 on board dead, AFP (via The Daily Telegraph), 30 November 2013.
- "Crash of an Embraer ERJ-190AR in the Bwabwata National Park: 33 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "C9-EMC LAM – Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique Embraer ERJ-190AR (ERJ-190-100 IGW) – cn 19000581". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Deaths reported in air crash near Namibian-Angolan border". CNN. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Missing Mozambique plane wreck found in Namibia, 33 dead". AFP. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Mozambique passenger plane missing: airline". AlJazeera. 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013.
- "About the flight TM 470 Maputo – Luanda" (Press release). LAM Mozambique Airlines. 30 November 2013..
- "Mozambique Airlines plane crashes in Namibia, killing 33". Reuters. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Pilot 'deliberately' crashed Mozambique plane". Al Jazeera. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "Mozambique airline captain 'intentionally' crashed plane". The Telegraph. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "Mozambique airline captain 'intentionally' crashed: probe". Yahoo News. 21 December 2013.[dead link]
- (Portuguese) "IACM NA POSSE DO RELATÓRIO DA INVESTIGAÇÃO PRELIMINAR" (Archive). SAPO Moçambique. 22 December 2013.
|Wikinews has related news: All plane occupants die in Namibia crash|
- LAM Mozambique Airlines - Index of press releases related to the crash