LaMia crash report published

The Accident Investigation Group (Grupo de Investigación de Acidentes y Incidentes, GRIAA) of Colombia’s Civil Aeronautics Authority published its final report on the November 2016 crash of LaMia Bolivia Avro RJ85 CP-2933 (msn E2348). The RJ85 crashed while on approach to Rionegro Airport, outside Medellín, while operating a charter flight for the Chapecoense Real football team. 68 of the 73 passengers and 3 of the 4 crewmembers were killed. Fuel exhaustion was soon identified as the likely cause of the accident, as the flight’s length was at the extreme edge of the RJ85’s range. The GRIAA report confirms that the RJ85 ran out of fuel while on final approach, with all four engines shutting down one by one as fuel was depleted. The report blames the company’s inappropriate planning and execution of the flight, which was dispatched without any provision for required contingency fuel loads, and poor decisionmaking and loss of situational awareness by the crew. The crew was apparently keenly aware of their fuel constraints, which they discussed frequently during the flight, yet they ignored several possible refuelling stops while en route, accepted being placed in a holding pattern when they reached the Rionegro area, and never declared a fuel emergency until engines started to flame out. The crew also blundered by prematurely placing the aircraft in a high-drag landing configuration, substantially reducing the RJ85’s gliding range.

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