Faucett Perú Flight 251

Faucett Perú Flight 251 refers to a Boeing 737-200 that was operating a domestic scheduled LimaArequipaTacna passenger service and crashed on 29 February 1996, while completing the first leg, on approach to Rodríguez Ballón International Airport.[1]: 34 [2] All 123 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft lost their lives in the accident.[1]: 34 [2] It is the deadliest aviation accident that occurred on Peruvian soil.[3]

Faucett Perú Flight 251
The aircraft involved in the accident in 1989, while still operating with Braniff.
Date29 February 1996
SummaryControlled flight into terrain[1]: 38 
SiteNear Ciudad de Dios, Cerro Colorado District, Arequipa, Peru
16°20′27″S 71°34′09″W / 16.34083°S 71.56917°W / -16.34083; -71.56917
Aircraft typeBoeing 737–222
OperatorCompañía de Aviación Faucett
Flight originJorge Chávez International Airport
Lima, Peru
StopoverRodríguez Ballón Int'l Airport
Arequipa, Peru
DestinationCrnl. FAP C. C. Santa Rosa Int'l Airport
Tacna, Peru

Aircraft and crew edit

The aircraft involved in the accident was a Boeing 737-222, tail number OB-1451, c/n 19072, that had its maiden flight on 21 October 1968.[2][4] Equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B engines, the airplane started its commercial career on 28 October 1968, when it was delivered new to United Airlines and registered N9034U.[4]

Re-registered N73714 on 14 June 1971 when Aloha Airlines took possession of the airplane until late October 1980 (1980-10), when it was transferred to Air California with the same registration.[4] Air California was rebranded AirCal in October 1981 (1981-10), and the aircraft was re-registered again to N459AC.[4] Following the absorption of AirCal into American Airlines, the airplane continued its career with this carrier until Braniff Inc. received it, with the same registration, on 2 March 1989, later going to AL AC 2 Corp, on 15 May 1990.[4]

Finally, the aircraft was delivered to Faucett on 15 July 1991, and registered OB-1451.[4] The airframe was 27 years and 131 days old at the time of the accident. On its final flight, it was piloted by Captain Juan Mayta Basurto and First Officer Julio Paz Castillo, both pilots were properly qualified to fly the 737.[5]: 1 

Description edit

Inbound from Jorge Chávez International Airport, the aircraft was on a VOR/DME approach to Rodríguez Ballón International Airport's runway 09, at night, in rain and mist, with thunderstorms reported in the area.[2][6][7]

The flight crew asked for the lights of the runway to be brightened as they could not see them when they should on normal approach, receiving a response from air traffic controllers that they were at full intensity.[6] The airplane crashed into hills at 8,200 feet (2,500 m) —the airport elevation is 8,405 feet (2,562 m)[8]—, at 20:25,[nb 1] approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi; 1.1 nmi) short of the runway and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi; 4.3 nmi) off Arequipa.[6][7][9] The aft section broke off on impact, and the main fuselage section continued to fly past the initial ridge and impacted near the top of the second one. The tail section fell into a crevasse between the two ridges.

There were 123 people aboard the aircraft, of whom 117 were passengers.[1]: 34  The nationalities of the victims were as follows:[10][11]

Nationality Passengers Crew Total
Peru 77 6 83
Chile 33 0 33
Belgium 2 0 2
Canada 2 0 2
Bolivia 2 0 2
United States 2 0 2
Brazil 1 0 1
Total 117 6 123

Among those killed was Juan Lorenzo de Szyszlo, a dual American-Peruvian citizen, aged 36, and the second son of the renowned Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo and his wife, the poet Blanca Varela. Lorenzo was reportedly heading to Arequipa to oversee an exhibition of his father's work there.[11]

Investigation edit

The investigation was assisted by representatives from the US National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration, as well as Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, all of whom arrived at the scene of the crash by 1 March. The aircraft's flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) were retrieved from the wreckage and on 5 March were sent to Washington D.C. for analysis by the NTSB.[5]: 2 

Early press coverage reported that the FDR and CVR were already yielding information. However, while the FDR was found to be usable, the partly-burned and partly-damaged CVR had its magnetic tape broken at its beginning, and only isolated Spanish-language voices could be heard. These were seemingly recorded inside a hangar, possibly during maintenance, and thus no recording of the flight crew's final voices before the crash was made. The airline claimed to have acquired the CVR in July 1995 and to have done maintenance on it in two occasions immediately prior to the crash (December 1995 and February 1996), however, the CVR had not been maintained in six years, showing in its interior registry that the date of its last opening was December 1989.[5]: 8–9 

It was found that the crew had been issued an outdated barometric altimeter setting after bypassing an ILS signal, causing them to fly almost 1,000 feet (300 m) lower than the altitude they believed they were flying at.[citation needed] In fact, they had the wrong impression the aircraft was flying at 9,500 feet (2,900 m), when it actually was at 8,640 feet (2,630 m), some 850 feet (260 m) below the glideslope.[9]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Also reported to have occurred at 20:15.[7]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d
    • "Airline safety review". Flight International. 151 (4557): 34. 15–21 January 1997. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. 
    • "Airline safety review". Flight International: 35. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. 
    • "Airline safety review". Flight International: 36. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. 
    • "Airline safety review". Flight International: 37. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. 
    • "Airline safety review". Flight International: 38. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. The Faucett 737 crash was controlled flight into terrain. 
  2. ^ a b c d Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Accident record for Peru". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Boeing 737 – MSN 19072 – OB-1451". Airfleets.net. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Informe Final OB-1451" [Final Report OB-1451] (PDF) (in Spanish). Ministry of Transport and Communications.
  6. ^ a b c "Faucett 737: engine emergency ruled out". Flightglobal.com. Flight International. 13 March 1996. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Recorder reveals clue to 757 crash". Flightglobal.com. Flight International. 6 March 1996. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. A 28-year-old Boeing 737-200 (OB-1451) of Peruvian carrier Faucett Airlines crashed on a 29 February Lima-Arequipa domestic flight, killing all 117 passengers and six crew on board. The aircraft crashed at 8,200 feet (2,500 m) in mountains on the approach some 8 kilometres (4 nmi; 5 mi) from Arequipa, the airline says. The accident took place at 20:15 local time in rain and mist, with thunderstorms reported in the area, but the airport was accepting other flights at the time and operating normally.
  8. ^ "Airport information for Arequipa Airport". World Aero Data. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) Data current as of October 2006.
  9. ^ a b Duffy, Paul; Velovich, Alexander (24 April 1996). "Track deviation was cause of Il-76 crash". Flightglobal.com. Flight International. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. The Faucett Airlines Boeing 737-200 which crashed on a night approach to Lima Airport [sic], Peru, on 29 February was lower than its captain believed it to be when it hit a hillside, say accident investigators. Data from the aircraft's cockpit-voice recorder and flight-data recorder reveal that, when the pilot reported the aircraft's altitude as 9,500ft, the 737 was at 8,640ft, about 850ft lower than the minimum approach height.
  10. ^ "123 Reported Dead in Peru Plane Crash". The New York Times. 1 March 1996. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
  11. ^ a b Lyman, Eric J. (2 March 1996). "Search For Bodies From Peruvian Plane Crash Continues". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 May 2023.

Further reading edit