Conviasa Flight 2350
The crash site
|Date||13 September 2010|
|Site||Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela|
|Aircraft type||ATR 42-320|
|Flight origin||Santiago Mariño International Airport, Porlamar, Isla Margarita|
|Destination||Manuel Carlos Piar Guayana Airport, Ciudad Guayana|
On 13 September 2010, Conviasa Flight 2350, operated by an ATR 42-320, registration YV1010, crashed shortly before landing in Manuel Carlos Piar Guayana Airport, Ciudad Guayana, on a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Santiago Mariño International Airport, Porlamar, Isla Margarita, Venezuela killing 17 of the 51 people on board.
The accident aircraft was an ATR 42-320, registration YV1010, c/n 371. The aircraft made its first flight on 7 February 1994. It had originally served with Gill Airways before being sold to Air Wales. The aircraft was bought by Conviasa in September 2006. At the time of the accident, it had accumulated over 25,000 flight hours and completed over 27,000 landings.
Passengers and crew
47 passengers were on board the aircraft, including two French citizens. The aircraft had four crew members.
The pilots of the aircraft reported control problems shortly before landing. Witnesses said that the aircraft struck power lines at low altitude at 09:59 local time, and went down on a wasteland where materials used in a steel mill were stored. The steel mill was evacuated following the accident. Dozens of workers from the steel mill and firefighters pulled the survivors from the burning wreckage.
While the death toll was initially reported as 14, later reports revised it upwards to 15 and later to 17 as survivors of the initial crash died of injuries sustained. A total of 34 people survived the crash. Both the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash.
The Venezuelan transport minister Francisco Garces announced that representatives from Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) planned to visit the crash site and assist the investigation. Assistance in the investigation is to be given by the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA). The BEA provided two investigators, and ATR provided three technical advisers.
On December 30, 2014 the Ministry of Water and Air Transport of Venezuela published that the probable cause of the accident was the malfunction of the central crew alerting system with erroneous activation of the stall warning system. Contributing factors were weaknesses of the flight crew’s resource management, their loss of situational awareness, their inadequate coordination during the decision-making process to deal with abnormal situations in flight, their lack of knowledge of the stall warning system, and their mishandling of the flight controls. The aircraft was flown with two abnormal conditions, activation of the stall warning system and the decoupling of the elevators of the aircraft, requiring a constant effort by the pilot in command to maintain control of the aircraft. There was improper handling of the aircraft in the final phase of landing, which led the commander to exercise great effort on controlling the flight before impact. The commander’s defective emotional and cognitive skill level, lack of leadership, and errors of judgment led him to make unwise decisions. Both pilots showed confusion, poor coordination in the cockpit, serious failures in communication, lack of knowledge of the aircraft systems and loss of situational awareness.
As a result of the crash, on 13 September 2010 Trinidad and Tobago's Civil Aviation Authority suspended Conviasa's services into that country. After the suspension, there were concerns about Trinidadian residents being stranded on Margarita Island. Conviasa, as of 2010, was the only airline to offer direct flights from Trinidad to Margarita Island, offering two or three flights per week.
On 17 September 2010, the Government of Venezuela grounded all Conviasa flights so that it could perform a technical review of the airline's fleet. The airline said that the temporary suspension would remain in effect until 1 October 2010, and that during the shutdown, passengers would be carried on other airlines.
- Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518, the previous major aircraft accident in Venezuela.
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