9 JANUARY 2017


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Article from BTNews 9 JANUARY 2017

LaMia RJ85 ‘overloaded’

The LaMia airlines aircraft that crashed last month near the north-western city of Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 people, the majority of them members of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer club, was low on fuel and overloaded, say reports.

The details emerged from a preliminary investigation by the Colombian civil aviation agency Aerocivil into the accident, which involved an Avro RJ85 aircraft with 77 passengers. One crew member, three of the football players and two other passengers survived. 

LaMia, short for Línea Aérea Mérida Internacional de Aviación, is a Bolivian charter airline headquartered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It has its origins in the failed Venezuelan airline of the same name

According to the secretary of aircraft safety at Aerocivil, Col. Fredy Bonilla, on the recordings from the aircraft cabin of the Bolivian airliner, the pilot and co-pilot are heard talking about possibly making a stop at Leticia (Colombia), or at Bogota, “because they were almost out of fuel,” but they finally decided against it.

According to the preliminary report, several decisions of the flight crew were incompatible with aviation regulations and rendered the flight unsafe. 

“Insufficient flight planning (disregarding necessary fuel stops) and not declaring an emergency when the fuel neared exhaustion caused the crash”, the report said.

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