ASN Aircraft accident Swearingen SA226-AT Merlin IVA LV-WNC Bahía Blanca-Comandante Espora Airport, BA (BHI)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 18 October 2001
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA226-AT Merlin IVA
Operator:Hawk Air, S.A.
Registration: LV-WNC
MSN: AT-036
First flight: 1975
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-10UA-511G
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bahía Blanca-Comandante Espora Airport, BA (BHI) (   Argentina)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Bahía Blanca-Comandante Espora Airport, BA (BHI/SAZB), Argentina
Destination airport:Neuquén Airport, NE (NQN/SAZN), Argentina
The aircraft, during a night takeoff, had reached a speed of 110 kts (Vr), when it struck a flock of seagulls approximately 700 m from the threshold of runway 16 L.
The right engine ingested a bird or parts and quit. The left engine, also due to the effects of the bird strike, experienced overheating. The pilot decided to abort the takeoff, controlled the speed and left the runway on taxiway 7.

Probable Cause:

During takeoff at night, of a commercial flight, impact and ingestion of birds or parts thereof, which caused the right engine to stall and the left engine to overheat, resulting in the pilot aborting the takeoff run.
Contributing factor:
- Night takeoff

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: JIAAC Argentina
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 75 days (3 months)
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Rejected takeoff
Bird strike
Runway mishap


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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 Bahía Blanca-Comandante Espora Airport, BA to Neuquén Airport, NE as the crow flies is 518 km (324 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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