LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470

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LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470
LAM Mozambique Airlines Embraer 190 Volpati.jpg
A LAM Mozambique Airlines E190 similar to the one involved in the incident
Date29 November 2013 (2013-11-29)
SummarySuicide by pilot
SiteBwabwata National Park, Namibia
18°11′36″S 21°52′09″E / 18.19333°S 21.86917°E / -18.19333; 21.86917Coordinates: 18°11′36″S 21°52′09″E / 18.19333°S 21.86917°E / -18.19333; 21.86917
Aircraft typeEmbraer E190
Aircraft nameChaimite
OperatorLAM Mozambique Airlines
IATA flight No.TM470
ICAO flight No.LAM470
Call signMOZAMBIQUE 470
Flight originMaputo International Airport, Maputo, Mozambique
DestinationQuatro de Fevereiro Airport, Luanda, Angola

LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Maputo, Mozambique, to Luanda, Angola. On 29 November 2013, the Embraer E190 twinjet operating the service crashed into the Bwabwata National Park, Namibia, halfway through its flight, killing all 27 passengers and 6 crew on board.[1][2]

Preliminary findings of the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (IACM) showed that the pilot deliberately crashed the jet.[3] The Mozambican Association of Air Operators (AMOPAR) disputes the conclusion of the IACM.[4] The Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigations Namibia stated that the pilot inputting controls leading to the crash was the probable cause of the aviation accident.[5]:2


LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 is located in Africa
Maputo Airport
Maputo Airport
Luanda Airport
Luanda Airport
Crash site
Crash site
Location of the crash site in Africa, between the departure airport (Maputo) and the destination (Luanda)

The aircraft had departed Maputo International Airport at 11:26 CAT (09:26 UTC), and was due to land at 14:10 WAT (13:10 UTC) at Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, Angola.

While cruising at about 38,000 feet (12,000 m) in Botswanan airspace, about halfway between Maputo and Luanda, the Embraer began to rapidly lose altitude.[2][6] The aircraft descended rapidly at a rate of about 100 feet (30 m) per second and was being tracked on radar.[6] The aircraft's track was lost from screens at 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level, after about six minutes of losing altitude. Shortly after, the aircraft crashed into Bwabwata National Park and exploded. The explosion completely destroyed the aircraft and killed all 33 people onboard instantly.[6] The last contact with air traffic control was made at 13:30 CAT (11:30 UTC) over northern Namibia during heavy rainfall.[7]

Weather was reported to be poor at the time of the incident, with heavy rainfall in the vicinity of the flight path.[1][8]


The aircraft involved in the incident was an Embraer 190 with manufacturer serial number 581, registered as C9-EMC and named Chaimite. The aircraft was manufactured in October 2012 and was delivered to LAM Mozambique Airlines in November 2012. It had since accumulated more than 2900 flight hours in 1900 flight cycles.[9] It was powered by two General Electric CF34-10E engines.[10] The airframe and the engines were last inspected on 28 November 2013, one day before the crash.[2]

Passengers and crew[edit]

LAM Mozambique Airlines confirmed there were a total of 33 people on board (27 passengers and 6 crew members).[11] The Namibian Police Force Deputy Commissioner Willy Bampton stated that there were no survivors and that the aircraft was "completely burned to ashes."[12]

Passengers by nationality[11]
Nationality Total
Mozambican 10
Angolan 9
Portuguese 5
French 1
Brazilian 1
Chinese 1
Total 27

The crew comprised two pilots, three cabin attendants, and a technician.[11] The captain, Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, had logged more than 9,000 flight hours in total (including 2,519 hours on the Embraer E190) while the first officer had accumulated about 1,400 hours of flying experience (including 101 hours on the Embraer E190).[2][5]


The government of Mozambique announced it would declare a period of national mourning.[7] Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva expressed condolence to victims' families.[7] 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.[7]

The pattern of debris indicated that the aircraft slid along the ground for several hundred metres.[13]

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 United States' National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for readout.[2]


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, making this a suicide by pilot.[14] The aircraft'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.[15] 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.[2][16] Contrary to regulations by Mozambique Airlines, no cabin crew member was deployed in the cockpit during the time of the co-pilot's absence.[17]

Investigations of the aircraft's pilot revealed that 49-year old Captain Fernandes had suffered a number of blows of fate prior to the accident. His son died in a suspected suicide in November 2012; Fernandes stayed away from the funeral. His daughter was in hospital for heart surgery at the time of the crash, and his divorce proceedings were unresolved for over a decade.[17]

Despite the conclusion of the IACM, the Mozambican Association of Air Operators (AMOPAR) disputed the preliminary report, explaining that the maneuvers of Captain Fernandes were from the manual of standard operating procedures issued by Embraer (the manufacturer of the crashed aircraft) about how to "act in emergency situation to avert disaster". According to the AMOPAR document, the Mozambican Government had not complied with the standards and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) "about the disclosure, contents and procedures relating to the preliminary report of the investigation of the crash of flight TM 470."[4]

On 15 April 2016 the DAAI released its final report finding that the inputs to the auto flight systems by the person believed to be the Captain, who remained alone on the flight deck when the person believed to be the co-pilot requested to go to the lavatory, caused the aircraft to depart from cruise flight, transition to a sustained controlled descent and subsequently crash.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mozambique plane missing with 34 on board". BBC News. 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Crash: LAM E190 over Botswana/Namibia on Nov 29th 2013, captain intentionally crashed aircraft". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  3. ^ Sinha, Shreeya (26 March 2015). "A History of Crashes Caused by Pilots' Intentional Acts". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2015. Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, the pilot of Mozambique Airlines Flight TM470 bound for Luanda, Angola, intentionally crashed the plane in a national park in Namibia on Nov. 29, 2013, according to investigators. ... When the flight's co-pilot left to use the lavatory, the captain locked him out of the cockpit and manually steered the plane downward. Listening to recovered flight recordings, investigators were able to hear alarms and banging on the cockpit door.
  4. ^ a b Caldeira, ADérito (29 November 2014). "Mozambique: One Year After the Tragedy of Flight TM 470 Mozambique Continues Without Knowing What Really Happened". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigations of Namibia (15 April 2016). "Civil Aircraft Accident Report - ACCID/112923/1-12" (PDF). Ministry of Works and Transport (Namibia). Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Deaths reported in air crash near Namibian-Angolan border". CNN. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "Missing Mozambique plane wreck found in Namibia, 33 dead". Agence France-Presse. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Mozambique passenger plane missing: airline". Al Jazeera. 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Crash of an Embraer ERJ-190AR in the Bwabwata National Park: 33 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  10. ^ "C9-EMC LAM – Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique Embraer ERJ-190AR (ERJ-190-100 IGW) – cn 19000581". Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "About the flight TM 470 Maputo – Luanda" (Press release). LAM Mozambique Airlines. 30 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Mozambique Airlines plane crashes in Namibia, killing 33". Reuters. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  13. ^, Lena (22 December 2013). "Drönare till hjälp vid katastrofer - Värmlands Folkblad" [Drone to help in disasters - Värmlands Folkblad] (in Swedish). Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Pilot 'deliberately' crashed Mozambique plane". Al Jazeera. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Mozambique airline captain 'intentionally' crashed plane". The Telegraph. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Mozambique airline captain 'intentionally' crashed: probe". Yahoo News. 21 December 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013.
  17. ^ a b Heinrich, Dirk (15 April 2016). "Pilot steuerte in den Boden. Unfallbericht zum Absturz der Passagiermaschine Mosambiks im Bwabwata-Park" [Pilot steered into the ground. Accident report on crash of Mozambican passenger aircraft in Bwabwata National Park]. Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). p. 1. Archived from the original on 17 April 2016.

Further reading[edit]

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