Narrative:The DC-3 was operating on the flight Managua - Bluefields - San Carlos - Managua. At 16:49 GMT the aircraft took off from San Carlos for the last leg of the flight. En route weather near the Concepcion Volcano was clear, with fog covering the top from 3200 feet. The aircraft was approaching the volcano at 2650 feet when it was seen to suddenly perform a sharp ascending left turn. Control was lost and the plane crashed into the volcano. On impact the right wing was flattened and folded back over one-third of its length and was partially separated from the fuselage. Fire erupted and destroyed the plane.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft made a left turn, i.e. towards the volcano, and there were indications of abnormal conditions when it banked sharply in descent then in rapid climb; this shows that some trouble arose in the operation of the controls, propellers or engines, which unexpectedly caused loss of control. It was impossible to ascertain the cause of this malfunctioning, owing to the condition of the total destruction of the aircraft after impact and fire."
» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (30-31)
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from San Carlos Airport to Managua Airport as the crow flies is 188 km (118 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.