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Plane crashes in Colombia because it ran out of fuel.
A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team ran out of fuel before landing in Medellín on November 28. It crashed into a mountain killing 71* out of 77** people on board. It was flying from Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

No fuel crash in Colombia

This is highly unusual for a plane to run out of fuel. I am very interested to follow this investigation to learn what factor(s) was/were responsible for such an occurrence. Apparently the range of the aircraft was 1600 nautical miles, and it was flying 1605. That's close, but it should still be in range.


There was also the fact that it wasn't given landing priority (another plane was prioritized over this one) and that ended up wasting minutes that could have actually saved this plane. Which is the most dramatic aspect of this whole situation.

* One person died in the hospital.
** Four people didn't board, but I'm not sure whether this is included in this count or not.
''Do I look civilized to you?''
Very sad news.
An eye for an eye
That's terrible and seems almost intentional. I mean why cut it close and why would the air traffic controller not give them priority...Something isn't right for sure. I mean mistakes are made and unfortunately those mistakes can cost a lot of lives...
axle2152 Wrote:That's terrible and seems almost intentional. I mean why cut it close and why would the air traffic controller not give them priority...Something isn't right for sure. I mean mistakes are made and unfortunately those mistakes can cost a lot of lives...

That was the range of the aircraft without the auxiliary tanks. Planes carry extra fuel for 30-45 minutes worth for emergencies.

I've heard two additional bits of information, that the plane skipped a refueling stop in Cobija (something to do with delayed take off, Cobija airport didn't operate after midnight); and that the auxiliary tanks were empty.

The last one is especially weird, and would indicate gross negligence on someone's part.

ABC News says it didn't have enough reserve fuel:

not enough reserve fuel

And this says the refueling pit stop was skipped:

refueling skipped

I'm not sure how accurate these reports are yet. I'd like to see them reported by other major news outlets as well.

The tower exchange was just a tragic fuck up. Either the pilot didn't impress upon the ATC of the severity of their situation soon enough, or the ATC misjudged the situation and called their priorities wrong.

I don't see any intent here. A few mistakes of different kind were made, and it cost 71 lives. Flying is no joke. You can't skip refueling and hope you'll make it to the destination intact. You absolutely have to follow all the safety protocols. Once you're up in the air there is little room to correct mistakes made on the ground.

In any case, the carrier LaMia's operator's certificate was suspended yesterday. According to wikipedia:

wikipedia Wrote:The crash exposed gaps in safety at the airline. LaMia did not meet IATA regulations that would have permitted it to handle the aftermath of the crash; instead, the airline had to borrow 100 coffins[clarification needed], requiring Avianca, the Colombian flag carrier, and the Colombian and Brazilian governments to step in and pick up the slack.[17] The Bolivian government proceeded to suspend LaMia's license on December 1.
''Do I look civilized to you?''
axle2152 Wrote:why would the air traffic controller not give them priority...

I failed to mention that there was another plane with a mechanical failure approaching the airport at the same time. That one was initially given the priority to land. However, a little while after that the ATC realized LaMia's urgency and it was indeed finally given priority landing (the plane with the mechanical failure hadn't landed yet, it was delayed). But it was too late for LaMia.

The crash resulted from the plane not being able to clear a mountain in its path (otherwise it would have made it to the airport. Planes out of fuel don't just fall from the sky, they can glide to land depending on circumstances).

As you can see on the flight path image up on my first post, the plane would clearly have made it safely to the airport, if the ATC had given it permission to land immediately or if there hadn't been that other plane with a malfunction in the air. It was a difference of just a few minutes here. This was such a close one that it's not funny.

The Guardian Wrote:Medellin air traffic controllers asked the LaMia pilot to wait while another flight made an emergency landing. Details on the length of the wait and problems with the other flight were not immediately available.

BBC Wrote:A plane flying nearby had asked for priority in landing because of an emergency, minutes before the Lamia plane crashed.

As a result, according to reports, air traffic control told other approaching planes, including the Lamia flight, to fly holding patterns.

This is complete coincidence of a few unfortunate factors that it didn't. Of course, if it had had enough fuel in the first place, all of this would have never happened either.

The Guardian

Regarding LaMia's suspension:

The Guardian Wrote:Bolivian authorities said they were suspending LaMia’s operating license and replacing the management of its aviation authority to ensure a transparent investigation. It said that neither decision implied wrongdoing.
''Do I look civilized to you?''

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