TAN-SAHSA Flight 414

TAN-SAHSA Flight 414 was a scheduled flight from Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José, Costa Rica to Toncontín Airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with a stopover at Augusto C. Sandino Airport in Managua, Nicaragua on 21 October 1989.[1] Flown with a Boeing 727-200, the flight crashed into a hill of the mountain range after the pilots failed to follow a special landing procedure required for the arrival to the airport, killing 131 passengers, leaving 15 survivors (including all three pilots). 20 initially survived, but five died before treatment, due to a delay in rescue personnel from the bad weather.[2] It remains, as of 2022, the worst aviation accident in Honduran soil. It is also the 15th deadliest involving a Boeing 727.[3]

TAN-SAHSA Flight 414
TAN Boeing 727-200 N88705 MIA 1989-7-18.png
N88705, the aircraft involved in the accident, at Miami International Airport in 1989
Date21 October 1989
SummaryPilot error and possible criminal negligence
Site9 km (5.6 mi; 4.9 nmi) south of Cerro de Hula, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
13°56′43″N 87°14′27″W / 13.94521°N 87.24084°W / 13.94521; -87.24084Coordinates: 13°56′43″N 87°14′27″W / 13.94521°N 87.24084°W / 13.94521; -87.24084
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-224
Flight originJuan Santamaría International Airport, San José, Costa Rica
StopoverAugusto C. Sandino International Airport, Managua, Nicaragua
DestinationToncontín International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Survivors15 (20 initially)

Aircraft historyEdit

The aircraft was a Boeing 727-224, registered as N88705, leased from Continental Airlines, and first flown in 1968. It was delivered to TAN-SAHSA in 1981.[4]

Flight and accidentEdit

Wreckage of the flight 414 in "Cerro de Hula"

The crew of flight 414 consisted of 34-year-old Captain Raúl Argueta, 26-year-old First Officer Reiniero Canales and Flight Engineer Marco Figueroa, three employed at Tan-Sahsa.[5][additional citation(s) needed]

Tegucigalpa ATC cleared the flight for the VOR/DME approach to runway 01. Because of high terrain in the area, the approach uses a series of three step-downs from the initial approach fix of 7,500 feet (2,300 m) MSL.[4] The crew began a continuous descent from about 7,600 feet (2,300 m) MSL at about 11 nautical miles (13 mi; 20 km) from the airport, rather than following the prescribed step-down procedure, which led to the accident site.[4] The aircraft's descent profile was well below the published step-down course for the entire approach.[6] The aircraft impacted a mountain known as Cerro de Hula at the 4,800 feet (1,500 m) MSL elevation, approximately 800 feet (240 m) below the summit, 4.8 nautical miles (5.5 mi; 8.9 km) from the Tegucigalpa runway 01 threshold.[7] At impact, the aircraft was in approach configuration.[4]

The plane broke into three sections. The first part (cockpit, first class), contained almost all of the survivors of the accident,[8] due to the close-to-stall, nose high configuration at impact.


While the National Transportation Safety Board and the Civil Aviation Authority of Honduras were investigating the crash, Argueta, Canales and Figueroa were charged with manslaughter and negligence and went to trial. However, the case was never resolved.[9] Five months later another aircraft, an Lockheed L-188 Electra operated by Sahsa Carga registered as HR-TNL, crashed close to Flight 414's crash site, with a similar cause, making it the third accident by Sahsa in six months.[10] Due to its bad safety history and corruption, Tan-Sahsa went into bankruptcy in the 1990s, and ceased operations in 1994.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Ring, Wilson (22 October 1989). "HONDURAN JET CRASH KILLS AT LEAST 100". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Honduran 727 Hits Mountain; at Least 131 Die". Los Angeles Times. Times Wire Services. 22 October 1989. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  4. ^ a b c d Ranter, Harro. "21-OCT-1989 TAN-SAHSA flight 414". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 23 September 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "30 años de la catástrofe aérea en Las Mesitas" [30 years of the air disaster in Las Mesitas]. La Tribuna (in Spanish). 19 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Crash of a Boeing 727-200 in Tegucigalpa: 127 killed". www.baaa-acro.com. Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 21 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Plane Crashes in Honduras, Killing at Least 131". The New York Times. Associated Press. 22 October 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Google Drive Viewer". Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  9. ^ "NEGLIGENCIA CRIMINÁL EN EL DESASTRE DEL VUELO 414 DE TAN-SAHSA" [CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE IN THE DISASTER OF FLIGHT 414 OF TAN-SAHSA.]. grandesaccidentesaereos.blogspot.com (in Spanish). 18 January 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Accidentes/Incidentes" [Accidents/Incidents]. Catrachowings.com (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2013.

External linksEdit