Tan-Sahsa Flight 414

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Tan-Sahsa Flight 414
TAN Boeing 727-200 N88705 MIA 1989-7-18.png
N88705, the aircraft involved in the accident
Accident summary
Date 21 October 1989
Summary Crashed during approach due to Pilot Error
Site Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Passengers 138
Crew 8
Fatalities 131[1]
Injuries (non-fatal) 15
Survivors 15[1]
Aircraft type Boeing 727-224
Operator Sahsa (TAN)
Registration N88705
Flight origin Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Destination Toncontin International Airport

Tan-Sahsa Flight 414 was a scheduled flight from Managua (MGA), Nicaragua to Tegucigalpa (TGU), Honduras. In this hull loss accident, a Boeing 727-200 operated by TAN-SAHSA with 146 people on board, crashed into a hill near Toncontin International Airport after the pilots failed to follow the special landing procedure required for this airport. 131 people died in the crash, making it the worst air crash in Central American history.[1]


The aircraft was a TAN Boeing 727-224, aircraft registration N88705 leased from Continental Airlines on a scheduled flight from Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua to Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.[2]

Tegucigalpa ATC cleared the flight for the VOR/DME approach to runway 01. Because of high terrain in the area, the approach uses a series of three step-downs from the initial approach fix of 7500 feet MSL.[2] The crew began a continuous descent from about 7600 ft MSL at about 11 NM from the airport, rather than following the prescribed step-down procedure, which led to the accident site.[2] The aircraft's descent profile was well below the published step-down course for the entire approach. The aircraft impacted a mountain known as Cerro de Hula at the 4800 ft MSL elevation, approximately 800 ft below the summit, 4.8 NM from the Tegucigalpa runway 01 threshold. At impact, the aircraft was in approach configuration.[2]

The plane broke into three parts. The first part (Cockpit, First Class), contained almost all of the survivors of the accident,[3] due to the close-to-stall, nose high configuration at impact.


Wreckage of the flight 414 in "Cerro de Hula"

After the accident, Captain Raúl Argueta and First Officer Reiniero Canales went to trial, but the trial was never resolved.

Five months later another aircraft, an L-188 Electra operated by "Sahsa Carga" (HR-TNL), crashed in the same place with a similar situation, making it the third accident by Sahsa in six months.[4]

Due to its bad safety history, Sahsa went into bankruptcy in the early 1990s.


  1. ^ a b c Herzfelder, Richard (22 October 1989) Honduran Air Crash Survivors Describe Scenes of Horror. Associated Press.
  2. ^ a b c d "21-OCT-1989 TAN-SAHSA flight 414". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Google Drive Viewer" (PDF). Docs.google.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Foro CatrachoWings :: View topic – Accidentes/Incidentes". Catrachowings.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°56′42.75″N 87°14′27.03″W / 13.9452083°N 87.2408417°W / 13.9452083; -87.2408417