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Chapecoense plane crash: the results of the investigation

The note released by the Colombia Civil Aviation Authority

The results of the investigation on the incident that on November 28th 2016 involved the LaMia Avro RJ-45 aircraft crashed near Medellin in Colombia were released during the week-end by the Colombia Civil Aviation Authority through a press conference (for details see AVIONEWS article linked).

Caused by a lacking of fuel, the LMI2933 flight couldn't reach its destination. The incident involved the Brazilian soccer team Chapeconese that was going to paly the South American Cup final and was travelling on the plane with the team staff, some journalists and crew members. Only six of the 78 aircraft occupants (74 passengers and 4 flight crew members) survived the tragedy.

"The investigation that involved authorities and institutions of five countries (Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, United States and England) establishes conclusions, determines probable causes and factors that may have contributed to the disaster and formulates some proper recommendations to prevent a similar aircraft crash. The report indicates that the carrier LaMia has not planned stop-overs for the charter flight (non-regular passenger transport) between Santa Cruz (Bolivia) and Rionegro (Colombia) and would not have met the minimum fuel requirements needed to land or to reach an alternative airport in a possible emergency situation".

According to the Colombia Civil Aviation Authority, the plane crashed at 9:59pm on November 28th 2016 due to a fuel deficit of 2303 kg. The aircraft was equipped with only 9300 kg of total fuel compared to the minimum volume needed to travel the Santa Cruz-Rionegro route (11603 kg). Although aware of the limited amount of fuel, the air carrier and crew would not have opted for a refuelling landing that would have allowed the aircraft to proceed safely. As explained in the note the Bolivian carrier LaMia was going through a period of economic difficulties resulting in significant shortcomings in the organization, problems in assigning responsibilities and in difficulty in the management of the security system (including the quantities of fuel set in the manuals but not followed in practice).

In conclusion the note specifies: "The report establishes some necessary recommendations for the Directorate General for Local Civil Aviation, for the Administration of air navigation services and of the airports of Bolivia (AASANA) and for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)".

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