West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 Crashes

West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 was a West Caribbean Airways contract flight that crashed in a hilly locale in northwest Venezuela on the morning of Tuesday, 16 August 2005, killing every one of the 152 travelers and eight team.

The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, enlistment HK-4374X, was on the way from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

While flying at 33,000 ft, the airplane’s speed continuously diminished until it entered a streamlined slow down. The team, likely under the mixed up conviction that the airplane had experienced a twofold motor fire out, didn’t make the fundamental moves to recuperate from the slow down.

Following 7,000 feet each moment jump with motors in a flight inactive or close to flight inactive condition, the plane crashed and burst into flames at 07:01 UTC into a field on a cows farm close to Machiques, in the western Zulia State, Venezuela (around 30 kilometers from the Colombian boundary).

Every one of the travelers was a French resident from Martinique, except for one Italian, going about as the visit administrator. The team was Colombian. The flight was sanctioned by the Globe Trotters de Rivière Salée travel service in Martinique. The majority of the travelers were sightseers getting back from seven days’ get-away in Panama.

The 160-man loss of life made the mishap the deadliest of 2005. It is the deadliest air debacle throughout the entire existence of Venezuela, the deadliest including a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, and the third-deadliest including a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 overall after Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308 and Dana Air Flight 992.

Medellín-based West Caribbean Airways began as a contract administration in 1998. It worked in trips to San Andrés in the Caribbean, portions of the Colombian central area and Central America. A couple of months before the mishap, the carrier had been fined $46,000 for absence of pilot preparing and inability to log required flight information.

The airplane associated with the occurrence was conveyed to Continental Airlines on 4 November 1986 which worked it until 10 January 2005. Around then it was moved to West Caribbean Airways, enrolled as HK-4374X. The stream’s tail cone tumbled off toward the beginning of July 2005 and was supplanted.

The chief of flight 708 was 40-year-old Omar Ospina, and the principal official was 21-year-old David Mũnoz. The skipper had 5,942 hours of involvement, and the co-pilot 1,341 hours.

Flight 708 took off from Tocumen International Airport at 00:58 neighborhood time (05:58 UTC). It climbed at first to flight level (FL) 310, and thusly to FL 330. The airplane arrived at FL 330 (ostensibly 33,000 ft) at 06:44. After five minutes, the team turned the airplane’s enemy of icing frameworks back on (having switched them off during the last piece of the trip).

The framework utilizes power from the motors, hence decreasing their most extreme execution. With the counter ice framework on, the most elevated height at which the over-burden airplane could fly – without slowing down – was decreased to 31,900 feet (9,700 m).

The skipper saw the decrease in motor power, yet he didn’t understand the wellspring of the issue. In this manner, he began a fast plunge as a safety measure. Around then, the velocity was at that point close to the slow-down speed, and the autopilot had kept a nose-up demeanor to keep a steady level.

At the point when the carrier was pounded by an unexpected updraft, it, at last, entered a slow-down condition and the team misused it. Albeit the cockpit voice recorder got the primary official accurately diagnosing what is happening as a slow down and endeavoring two times to impart this to the commander, the chief was possibly befuddled by the surprising way of behaving of the motors, because of the counter ice framework and presumably the wind current interruption brought about by the updraft.

The commander thought he was battling with a motor flameout, which he advised the principal official to convey to the ground regulator, and didn’t perceive what is happening; he then misused the slow down by keeping up with nose-up mentality, which further diminished speed and extended the slow down until the plane at last crashed.

Course of events
All times are UTC. (For nearby time in Panama and Colombia, deduct 5 hours; for Venezuela take away 4:30 hours; for Martinique, deduct 4.)

06:00 Flight 708 Departs from Panama on the way to Martinique.
06:51 Crew reports inconvenience in one motor.
06:58 Crew demands and gets consent to plunge from 31,000 feet to 14,000 feet.
06:59 Crew sends trouble call: the two motors failing, airplane wild.
07:00 Plane accidents close to Machiques, Venezuela.


The Comité de Investigación de Accidentes Aéreos (CIAA, Aircraft Accidents Research Committee) of Venezuela drove the examination on the reasons for the mishap.

French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) was alloted the fundamental obligation of the examination investigation for Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) with United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) additionally partaking in recuperation of FDR information. On 22 November 2005, the CIAA delivered a report proposing that the development of ice inside every motor’s PT2 test was liable for the mishap.

Examination of the cockpit voice recorder showed that the team examined weather patterns, including icing, and ceaselessly mentioned and performed plunges which is the typical reaction to a low power or low velocity circumstance.

Examination of the garbage showed that the two motors displayed signs of fast blower revolution at the hour of effect, which empowered agents to presume that the motors had not been recently harmed, and were working at the hour of effect. Ground scars showed that the airplane was affected with its nose up.

The CIAA, which had been renamed to the Junta Investigadora de Accidentes de Aviación Civil (JIAAC), delivered their last report on the mishap and tracked down the plausible fundamental reasons for the accident to be the aftereffect of pilot blunder.

Highlighting the finding posting pilot blunder as a reason, the JIAAC noticed an absence of both situational mindfulness and group asset on the board which would have better empowered the team to answer the slowdown and the seriousness of the crisis appropriately.

The report focused on that the team neglected to work the airplane inside its not unexpected boundaries, which brought about a slow down that was not as expected recuperated because of unfortunate navigation and unfortunate correspondence between the pilots.

What’s more, the poor monetary place of West Caribbean Airways went under analysis; the plane and team engaged with the mishap flight were nearly declined departure at their past stop due to non-installment of catering and food administration expenses, the group had not gotten standard checks in a while, and the commander had purportedly been compelled to moonlight as a barkeep to turn out revenue for his loved ones.

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