Dominicana DC-9 air disaster
A DC-9-32 similar to the accident aircraft
|Date||February 15, 1970|
|Summary||Engine failure followed by loss of control|
|Site||Caribbean Sea near Las Américas Int'l Airport
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32|
|Operator||Dominicana de Aviación|
|Flight origin||Santo Domingo-Las Américas International Airport (SDQ/MDSD)|
|Destination||San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport (SJU/TJSJ)|
The Dominicana de Aviación Santo Domingo DC-9 air disaster occurred on February 15, 1970 when a Dominicana de Aviación (Dominican Airlines) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 twin-engine jet airliner crashed shortly after taking off from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The crash killed all 102 passengers and crew on board. Four airline employees are believed to have been arrested in connection with the crash.
The jetliner was on an international flight from Las Américas International Airport near Santo Domingo, to San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. It took off at about 6:30pm. Two minutes after departure one of its engines lost power. The aircraft then descended until it hit the sea. There were no survivors among the 97 passengers and five crew members on board.
Several famous passengers were among the dead, including former world lightweight boxing champion Carlos Cruz, his wife and their two children; and twelve members of Puerto Rico's women's national volleyball team. The wife, daughter and sister of Antonio Imbert Barrera, a Dominican Army Major General who participated in the plot to kill the dictator Rafael Trujillo in Santo Domingo in 1961; Juan Ramón Loubriel, who had participated in three professional sports leagues in Puerto Rico (basketball, volleyball and association football); the then-girlfriend of astrologer Walter Mercado, and most of the members of Puerto Rico's women's national volleyball team, who were returning home after a friendly game against the Dominican Republic's women's national team. The few Puerto Rican volleyball players who could not be accommodated in this flight remember how they heard news about the crash on television and received the news with tears. The Puerto Rican salsa orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico was set to board the flight but did not when one of its members had a bad feeling about the flight and convinced the others not to take it.
Dominicana suspended its operations immediately after the crash; reportedly four of its mechanics were arrested as well. In addition, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned Dominicana aircraft from operating to the United States. The ban was lifted later in the year after Dominicana leased a replacement DC-9 aircraft, to be flown by crews from Spanish airline Iberia.
- D. Gero (2005-05-21). "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 HI-177 Santo Domingo". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- "FAA Suspends Dominicana", Flight International, 19 March 1970, p.421 (online archive version) retrieved 16 November 2012
- Crash stills title hopes
- "Una tragedia aérea que aún duele". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 12 February 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Dominicana to Resume", Flight International, 16 April 1970, p.615 (online archive version) retrieved 16 November 2012