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On 15 March 2016, an IAI Arava transport aircraft of the Ecuadorian Army crashed in the eastern part of the country.[1][2][3] The accident is the deadliest involving an IAI Arava,[4] and the single deadliest incident suffered by the Ecuadorian military.

Ecuadorian Air Force Arava crash
IAI Arava 201, Honduras - Air Force JP7034585.jpg
An IAI Arava of the Honduran Air Force, similar to the crashed aircraft
Date15 March 2016 (2016-03-15)
SummaryCrashed into high ground, poor weather
SiteHacienda La Palmira, Pastaza, Ecuador
1°26′0″S 77°59′0″W / 1.43333°S 77.98333°W / -1.43333; -77.98333Coordinates: 1°26′0″S 77°59′0″W / 1.43333°S 77.98333°W / -1.43333; -77.98333
Aircraft typeIAI Arava 201
OperatorEcuadorian Army
Flight originRío Amazonas Airport, Ecuador


The Arava plane took off from the Río Amazonas military airport in Shell Mera in Pastaza Province at 12:51 local time. It was carrying 19 Ecuadorian paratroopers belonging to the 9th Special Forces ('Patria') Brigade, for a skydiving exercise; as well as 3 crew members (2 pilots and a mechanic). The pilot had reportedly asked for permission to return to the airport due to adverse weather conditions shortly before contact was lost with the aircraft.[5][6][7] The aircraft crashed at 14:30 local time in a mountainous area, killing all 22 on board.[4][8]

Two Ecuadorian Air Force helicopters and ground patrols were dispatched to search for the missing plane, and the flight debris was located near the Fátima peak of Hacienda La Palmira.[6][9]


Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa described the accident as a "tragedy" to the armed forces.[6]


  1. ^ "Ecuador army plane crashes in Amazon region killing 22 - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  2. ^ "Ecuador plane crash kills 22". CNN. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  3. ^ "Ecuador army plane crash kills all 22 aboard: president". Business Recorder. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  4. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident IAI Arava 201 E-206 Hacienda la Palmira, Pastaza". Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  5. ^ "Military plane crashes in Ecuador, killing 22". Xinhuanet. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b c 杨希. "Military plane crashes in Ecuador, killing 22 -". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  7. ^ "EL MUNDO - Diario Líder de Información en Bolivia - Evo expresa sus condolencias por la muerte de 22 militares en Ecuador". Periódico El Mundo. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  8. ^ "22 Ecuadorean Soldiers Killed in Amazon Plane Crash". Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  9. ^ "Tragedia en Ecuador; 22 soldados fallecen en accidente de avión militar en la Amazonía | ANDES". Retrieved 2016-03-22.