Aerosucre Flight 157

Aerosucre Flight 157 was a domestic cargo flight from Germán Olano Airport in Puerto Carreño, Colombia, to El Dorado International Airport, Bogotá. On 20 December 2016, the Boeing 727-2J0F operating the route overran the runway during takeoff, striking the perimeter fence and other obstacles before becoming airborne, ultimately losing control and crashing 4 nmi (4.6 mi; 7.4 km) from the airport. Of the six people on board, only one survived, with severe injuries.[1][2]

Aerosucre Flight 157
HL-4544 seen overrunning the runway.png
HK-4544 overrunning the runway
Date20 December 2016 (2016-12-20)
SummaryCrashed following runway excursion on take-off and loss of control
SiteGermán Olano Airport, Puerto Carreño, Colombia
6°11′14.40″N 67°34′0.40″W / 6.1873333°N 67.5667778°W / 6.1873333; -67.5667778Coordinates: 6°11′14.40″N 67°34′0.40″W / 6.1873333°N 67.5667778°W / 6.1873333; -67.5667778
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-2J0F
IATA flight No.6C157
ICAO flight No.KRE157
Call signAEROSUCRE 157
Flight originGermán Olano Airport, Puerto Carreño, Colombia
DestinationEl Dorado International Airport, Bogotá, Colombia

The subsequent investigation found that a number of factors, including a take-off weight in excess of the maximum permissible, an incorrect take-off technique, and a slight tailwind resulted in the failure of the aircraft to become airborne within the available runway length.[3]


Puerto Carreño
Map of Colombia showing the location of the crash site at Puerto Carreño airport
External video
  Footages of the incident on YouTube

The Boeing 727 arrived at Puerto Carreño on the day of the accident at 14:48 local time, after a cargo flight from Bogotá. The crew unloaded 9,264 kilograms (20,423 lb) of cargo. Although the weight and balance manifest of the accident flight was not found, investigators presumed that slightly less than 9,100 kg (20,000 lb) of cargo distributed on nine pallets was loaded for the return to Bogotá. The 727 then taxied onto Runway 25 threshold; the crew set the flaps at 30°, the plane was trimmed for takeoff, and the plane started its takeoff run at 17:18.

The 727 used all of the 1,800-metre (5,900 ft) runway, but was still not airborne. It traveled another 95 m (310 ft) over grass and struck a perimeter fence. It then crossed a road on the airport's perimeter, where numerous motorcyclists and pedestrians narrowly avoided being hit by the aircraft. After crossing the road, the 727 then collided with a shed, then a tree, before finally becoming airborne. Due to the impact, the right main landing gear detached from the aircraft, the inboard right flap was damaged, engine 3 lost power, and one hydraulic system was damaged and leaking. The aircraft achieved an altitude of 790 ft (240 m), entered a slight right hand descending turn, which completed a near 270° arc and then impacted flat terrain, bursting into flames.[1] The accident was captured on video by some of the motorcyclists on the perimeter road the aircraft crossed.[4]

Aircraft and crewEdit

The aircraft involved photographed in 2008

The aircraft involved in the crash was a Boeing 727-200 registered HK-4544 with serial number 21105. It entered service in 1975, operating as a passenger aircraft for Air Jamaica until 1997. It was then converted into a cargo aircraft.[5] The aircraft began operating for Aerosucre in 2008.[6]

The captain was 58-year-old Jaime Cantillo, who had been with Aerosucre since 1997 and was licensed to fly the Boeing 727 in 2005. He had logged 8,708 flight hours, including 6,822 hours on the Boeing 727. The first officer was 39-year-old Mauricio Guzmán, who had been with the airline since 2008 and had 3,285 flight hours, all of which were on the Boeing 727. The flight engineer was 72-year-old Pedro Duarte, who joined Aerosucre in 2013 and had logged 1,612 flight hours, though his flight experience on the Boeing 727 was unknown.[7]: 12–14 [8][9]


The flight plan indicated five people aboard, but an undocumented sixth person was on the flight. Four died immediately and two survived the impact, but one of the survivors died later from injuries.[6] The sole survivor was flight technician Diego Armando Vargas Bravo.[10]


The Colombian government's Air Accident Investigation Group (Spanish: Grupo de Investigación de Accidentes Aéreos; GRIAA) concluded that three factors extended the aircraft's take-off run by 380 m (1,250 ft), resulting in a runway excursion that eventually led to the crash:

  • The crew incorrectly calculated a rotation speed that was 5 knots (9 km/h; 6 mph) higher than necessary.
  • The chosen take-off runway was subject to a 4-knot (7 km/h; 5 mph) tail wind.
  • The pilot rotated the aircraft too slowly, at about 1°/sec instead of 2 to 3°/sec.

Furthermore, although initial calculations suggested the aircraft was operating within its weight limits, the investigators believe, based on the take-off speeds used by the crew, that the aircraft was actually almost a tonne above its maximum permissible take-off weight of 74.7 t (74,700 kg; 165,000 lb).[1][3]

The investigation also determined that following the loss of pressure in both main hydraulic systems caused by the impact with ground structures, the crew did not activate the standby hydraulic system, which would have enabled them to maintain control of the aircraft.[1]

The operator Aerosucre was found in breach of regulations, since Puerto Carreño airport was not approved for operations with the Boeing 727-200, and such breach was allowed to continue for years due to lack of supervision by the Colombian civil aviation authority.[1][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hradecky, Simon (29 August 2018). "Crash: Aerosucre B722 at Puerto Carreno on Dec 20th 2016, overran runway on takeoff". The Aviation Herald. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. ^ Kauh, Elaine (21 December 2016). "Colombian Cargo B727 Crashes, Five Dead". AVweb. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kaminski-Morrow, David (4 September 2018). "Aerosucre crash followed flawed speed decision". Flight International. No. 5652. p. 18.
  4. ^ Martinez, Claudya (22 December 2016). "The Cause Of This Colombian Plane Crash Is Unknown, But The Incident Happened To Be Captured On Video". Mitú. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ Waldron, Greg (21 December 2016). "Video: Aerosucre 727 freighter crashes in Colombia". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ranter, Harro (26 December 2016). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-2J0F Adv. HK-4544 Puerto Carreño-Germán Olano Airport (PCR)". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Informe Final Accidente HK4544.pdf" [Final Accident Report HK4544] (PDF). (in Spanish). Grupo de Investigación de Accidentes Aéreos. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 February 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Five crew dead after Aerosucre cargo plane crashes in Colombia". UPI. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Impactantes imágenes del siniestro aéreo ocurrido en Puerto Carreño" [Shocking images of the air accident that occurred in Puerto Carreño]. Noticias Caracol (in Spanish). 21 December 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  10. ^ Sierra, Daniela Parra. "El destino de dos hermanos que abordaron el mismo avión que se cayó" [The fate of two brothers who board the same plane that crashed]. (in Spanish). Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano. Retrieved 22 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit