Air France Flight 422
A TAME Boeing 727-200 similar to the one that involved in the accident
|Date||20 April 1998|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) aggravated by inclement weather|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 727-230|
|Operator||TAME on behalf of Air France|
|Flight origin||El Dorado International Airport, Bogotá, Colombia|
|Destination||Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador|
Air France Flight 422 was a scheduled flight on 20 April 1998 by Air France from Bogotá, Colombia, to Quito, Ecuador, covering the final leg of a flight from Paris to Bogotá, operated by TAME on behalf of Air France. The Boeing 727 was destroyed, killing all 53 people on board, when it crashed into the mountains east of Bogotá because of foggy weather and low visibility after taking off from Bogotá's El Dorado International Airport. The plane was owned by TAME, the Ecuadorian airline, but operated on a wet-lease basis to Air France as the final leg of its flight from Paris.
The 21 year old TAME Boeing 727-200Adv was covering the final leg of an Air France flight, with Ecuadorian crew. The flight deck crew, consisting of 3, was skilled according to the training authorities, but the flight's Captain had just logged over 400 hours in the 727. A Flight Operations Mechanic, and 6 Flight Attendants completed the crew. Forty-three (43) passengers were among the 53 people on board the aircraft.
The weather conditions consisted of a 7 kilometer (4 nm) visibility limited by a Broken (Ceiling) layer of Cumulonimbus clouds 2,000 feet above the aerodrome, a 16 °C temperature, and an altimeter pressure decrease (QNH 3031 to QNH 3024).
The aircraft was cleared to Quito International Airport via the Girardot 1 (GIR1) departure, which consisted of a right turn after takeoff (over the Romeo/R NDB), for noise abatement, and for transitioning (via VIOTA) to a south-west route. The flight crew failed to execute the maneuver properly (the First Officer, acting as Pilot in Command, didn't make the initial turn), and forgot to turn the Transponder on after takeoff, which prohibited the radar controllers from assisting them. The FDR showed a departure profile with a low vertical speed, and an airspeed of 260 knots, designed to decrease fuel consumption. Unfortunately, the procedure was also planned to prevent transit ahead of the 19 DME arc of the Bogotá VOR, a mountainous zone whose minimum altitude increases drastically to 14,000 feet.
Less than two minutes after taking off from the runway 13L, the aircraft crashed at an airspeed of 260 knots into the Cerro el Cable, while passing 10,100 feet. All 53 people on board died due to a combination of impact and fire injuries. The fire also affected a 10 thousand square foot forest zone, which was burnt after the aircraft disintegrated and exploded upon impact.
- "At least 53 killed when 727 crashes in Bogota" CNN 20 April 1998