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Last updated: 17 October 2017
Datum:Montag 28 Januar 2002
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-134
Fluggesellschaft:TAME Ecuador
Kennzeichen: HC-BLF
Werknummer: 19692/498
Baujahr: 1967-11-20 (34 years 3 months)
Anzahl Zyklen der Zelle:49819
Triebwerk: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 7 / Insassen: 7
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 87 / Insassen: 87
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 94 / Insassen: 94
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:27 km (16.9 Meilen) NW of Ipiales (   Kolumbien)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO/SEQU), Ecuador
Flug nach:Tulcán Airport (TUA/SETU), Ecuador
Flugnummer: 120
TAME Flight 120 was a scheduled flight from Quito to Cali, Colombia via Tulcán. The Boeing 727 took off from runway 17 at 10:03 for the first leg to Tulcán. The flight climbed to the cruising altitude of FL180 and proceeded on the G-675 airway towards Ipiales from where it was to turn to Tulcán. At 10:15 the flight contacted Tulcán Tower. At that moment the airplane was 29 miles from the Tulcán NDB. The crew received permission to descend to FL140 and was given the current weather information, which included 8000 metres visibility, few clouds at 200 metres and overcast at 500 metres. The approach procedure called for a speed of 180 kts, but the actual speed was much higher at 230 knots. During the descent the airplane flew into the side of the Nevado el Cumbal Volcano at 14,700 feet, 1400 feet below the summit.

Probable Cause:

CAUSA PROBABLE: "1) Decisión del piloto instructor comandante del vuelo y de su tripulación, de iniciar y continuar la operación hacia el aeropuerto de Tulcán por debajo de los mininos meteorológicos establecidos en los SOP's de la compañia. 2) Navegación y operación inadecuadas de la aeronave por parte del piloto a los controles y dirigidas por el piloto instructor comandate del vuelo, consistente en entrar al patrón de sostenimiento del radiofaro del Tulcán con una velocidad de 230 nudos indicados y con un banqueo de 15 grados excediendo así el limite máximo de velocidad de 180 nudos estipulado durante todo el procidimiento incluyendo el patrón de sostenimiento y utilizando un banqueo. Inferior al recomendado de 25 a 30 grados saliéndose así de los limites laterales de navegación y de protección de obstáculos del patrón de sostenimiento, conduciendo esta operación a la colisión contra el Cerro El Cumbal."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: DGAC Ecuador
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

» El Universo


photo of Boeing 727-134 HC-BLF
photo of Boeing 727-134 HC-BLF
photo of Boeing 727-134 HC-BLF
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
20 NOV 1967 SE-DDB Transair Sweden
15 JUL 1981 SE-DDB Air Madeira leased
08 OCT 1981 RP-C1241 Philippine Airlines
19 JUL 1984 HC-BLF TAME Ecuador

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 Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport to Tulcán Airport as the crow flies is 136 km (85 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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