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Accident description
Last updated: 20 September 2017
Date:Thursday 17 March 1988
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-21
Registration: HK-1716
C/n / msn: 18999/240
First flight: 1966-03-08 (22 years )
Total airframe hrs:43848
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 136 / Occupants: 136
Total:Fatalities: 143 / Occupants: 143
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:25 km (15.6 mls) NW of Cúcuta-Camilo Daza Airport (CUC) (   Colombia)
Crash site elevation: 1993 m (6539 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cúcuta-Camilo Daza Airport (CUC/SKCC), Colombia
Destination airport:Cartagena-Rafael Núńez Airport (CTG/SKCG), Colombia
Struck El Espartillo Mountainat 6343 feet (1933 m) after takeoff from runway 33.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSES: "1. Active: A. Personnel factors - Pilot-in-command - Procedures, Regulations and instructions
a) Diverted attention from operation of aircraft and failed to exercise adequate and constant supervision over the performance of his co-pilot;
b) Tolerated inappropriate interference with cockpit discipline by authorized persons with access to the flight deck;
c) Continued VFR flight into IMC.
B. Personnel factor - Non-crew pilot in cockpit - Procedures, regulations and instructions
Interfered constantly with the normal operation of the aircraft, distracting the crew from the efficient execution of their duties.
2. Passive
A. Personnel factor- Crew- Procedures, regulations and instructions: lack of teamwork on the part of the crew, reflected in the failure to coordinate the instructions needed to take off and climb out in VMC using a profile established in accordance with the specific conditions.
B. Other factors - Meeting the schedule: The delays resulting from the change of aircraft for mechanical reasons contributed to the decision by the pilot-in-command to give inappropriate support to company priorities and request to depart, rather than waiting as recommended by the Control Tower, in order to avoid adding to the delays already experienced."

Distraction in cockpit
VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» ICAO Adrep Summary 2/88 (#5)
» ICAO Circular 2660-AN/154 (12-26)


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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
08 MAR 1966 N321PA Pan Am
20 SEP 1974 HK-1716 Avianca

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 Cúcuta-Camilo Daza Airport to Cartagena-Rafael Núńez Airport as the crow flies is 430 km (269 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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