ASN Aircraft accident Dassault Falcon 20C LV-WLH Salta International Airport, SA (SLA)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 7 February 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Dassault Falcon 20C
Operator:Air Service
Registration: LV-WLH
MSN: 34
First flight: 1966
Total airframe hrs:15118
Engines: 2 General Electric CF700-2D2
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:36,4 km (22.8 mls) SW of Salta International Airport, SA (SLA) (   Argentina)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Tucumán-Teniente General Benjamín Matienzo Airport, TU (TUC/SANT), Argentina
Destination airport:Salta-Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport, SA (SLA/SASA), Argentina
Falcon LV-WLH operated on a cargo flight from Córdoba (COR) to Tucumán (TUC) and Salta (SLA). The aircraft took off from Tucumán at 21:45. At 22:01 the crew reported at FL180 over reporting point PONPI, 55 nm Salta. Two minutes later the flight was cleared to descend to the cloud level. At 22:08 the crew reported at 6500ft on top of the clouds in visual conditions. Shortly afterward the airplane flew into the side of Cerró Chivilme at an altitude of 6970 feet.

Probable Cause:

CAUSA PROBABLE: "Colisión con una montaña durante el descenso previo al aterrizaje, debido a efectuar un procedimiento de aproximación por instrumentos distintos al vigente en el aeropuerto de destino con error de distancias y alturas.
Son factores concurrentes:
- Usar el GPS como instrumento primario de navegación, cuando debe ser usado como instrumento suplementario o de referencia.
- Falta de control sobre los instrumentos y procedimientos, por deficiente coordinación de cabina (CRM).
- Colocación de un punto ficticio en el GPS con un nombre F-SAL que se confunde fácilmente con SAL, sigla del aeropuerto Salta."

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from Spanish):
Collision with a mountain during the descent prior to landing, while flying an instrument approach procedure other than the existing airport destination with errors in distances and heights.
Contributing factors were:
- Use of GPS as the primary instrument of navigation, when it should be used as a supplementary tool or reference.
- Lack of control over the instruments and procedures, poor CRM.
- Placement of a fictitious point in the GPS with the name "F-SAL" which is easily confused with "SALT", the acronym of the Salta airport.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Junta de Investigaciones de Accidente de Aviación Civil (JIAAC), DISPOSICIÓN N° 33/97


photo of Dassault-Falcon-20-LV-WLH
accident date: 07-02-1997
type: Dassault Falcon 20
registration: LV-WLH
photo of Dassault-Falcon-20-LV-WLH
accident date: 07-02-1997
type: Dassault Falcon 20
registration: LV-WLH

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 Tucumán-Teniente General Benjamín Matienzo Airport, TU to Salta-Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport, SA as the crow flies is 223 km (140 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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.
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