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11th of July 2018

A Douglas Dc-3 (first flight in 1943) was operating a humanitarian relief flight with a crew of three, 9 passengers and 2400 kg of cargo consisting of various goods and equipment for the victims of the recent floods. With a total fuel load of 410 Gallons, the aircraft had departed Inírida-César Gaviria Trujillo Airport and was on the approach to San Felipe Airport.

The aircraft in its final position (Source; © Unknown)

There was no weather station at San Felipe Airport, the crew observed sparse clouds, with a ceiling of approximately 1500 feet, in light drizzle the visibility was still greater than 10 kilometers. The aircraft flew a stabilised approach to Runway 18. A normal touchdown occurred at 11.30 local time. Shortly after touchdown the aircraft started to track to the left of the runway, this was countered by the crew but they were unable to correct the path of the aircraft. The aircraft veered off the left side of the runway, the aircraft swung around and came to rest in a ditch adjacent to the runway. After coming to a stop, while an evacuation of the passengers was initiated, a fire broke out in the left engine. As the flight crew carried out the necessary emergency checklist the fire was extinguished.

FOD found on the runway (Source & © GRIAA)

The accident was investigated by the Grupo de Investigación de Accidentes (GRIAA, Colombian Accident Investigation Department). In their report (available by clicking here, please note the report is in Spanish) they determined that the probable cause of the accident was;

  • Loss of lateral control leading to the runway excursion

  • Loss of control was caused by a loss of pressure in the left mainwheel

  • The loss of pressure was caused by Foreign Object Debris on the runway that punctured the tyre during the landing roll

  • There was no FOD control program drawn up by the aerodrome operator.

  • Risk management by the aerodrome operator was insufficient

The aircraft after recovery (Source; © Unknown)

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