20 September 2008

Crash of a TACA A320 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras - 30 May 2008

Transcript of the Podcast

The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from San Salvador to Tegucigalpa. The aircraft touched down on the runway on its second landing attempt, but after landing it departed the runway, went down a twenty meter embankment, and struck several vehicles.

Early reports indicate that at least four people were killed, including the captain, two of the passengers, and a person in one of the vehicles hit by the plane.

There were 142 passengers and five crew members on board the aircraft. In addition to the three onboard fatalities, about sixty other passengers were injured.

The fuselage was broken in several locations, and both engines separated from the wings. Although there was a fuel spill and a post crash fire, most of the aircraft was not damaged by that fire.

At the time of the accident, the runway was wet from the passage of tropical storm Alma earlier in the day.

This was the first fatal jet airliner event involving TACA. Prior to this fatal event, the airline had two significant events involving its jet fleet.

On May 24th, 1988, a TACA 737 flying to New Orleans lost power to both engines due to water ingestion from a storm. The crew was able to glide safely to a landing on a levee next to a waterway.

On April 6, 1993, a TACA 767 overran the runway during a landing in Guatemala City, and crashed into a nearby neighborhood. Although three people in the neighborhood were injured, no one was on the ground or in the plane was killed.

The crash in Tegucigalpa was the eighth fatal event involving the A320, with the first occurring in 1988 and the previous one, involving the Brazilian airline TAM, in July 2007.

The civil aviation authorities of Honduras are leading the investigation, with support from TACA, Airbus, the engine manufacturer, the NTSB, FAA, and civil aviation authorities from France and El Salvador.

Updates or findings from the investigation will be posted on AirSafe.com as they become available.

Thanks for listening, and I'll see you next time.

Note: As of 1 June 2008, the new casulty figures are as follows: One of the six crew members and two of the 118 passengers were killed. Two people outside the aircraft were also killed.

For more about the TACA event, visit http://www.airsafe.com/events/airlines/taca.htm.

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