Accident description
Last updated: 25 October 2014
Status:Preliminary
Date:Saturday 6 August 2005
Time:15:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT72 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
ATR-72-202
Operator:Tuninter
Registration: TS-LBB
C/n / msn: 258
First flight: 1991
Total airframe hrs:29893
Cycles:35259
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 35
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 39
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:26 km (16.3 mls) NE off Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport (PMO) (   Italy) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bari-Palese Airport (BRI/LIBD), Italy
Destination airport:Djerba-Melita Airport (DJE/DTTJ), Tunisia
Flightnumber:1153
Narrative:
On August 5 Quinter's ATR-72 TS-LBB arrived at Tunis with 790 kgs of fuel left in the fuel tanks. During maintenance the Fuel Quantity Indicator (FQI) was changed. Erroneously the FQI for ATR-42 aircraft was installed. The normal operation of the FQI is to processes the signal coming from the capacitance probes installed in the tanks with an algorithm typical for each aircraft, depending on tank shape, size and number of probes installed. The indication of the amount of fuel on board the airplane now read 3050 kgs instead of 790 kgs. On August 6 the airplane was prepared for flight 152F to Bari. An amount of 465 kgs fuel was added for the flight (total fuel: 1255 kgs, with 3800 kgs indicated). Upon landing at Bari only 305 kgs were left in the tanks. Normally this should have triggered a 'LO LVL' warning, but the FQI read 2300 kgs, which made the crew believe they had plenty of fuel left. In preparation for the flight to Djerba, just 265 kgs of fuel was added. The flight departed with 2700 kgs of fuel indicated by the FQI (actual amount: 570 kgs).
En route, at 15:24 the crew contacted Palermo for an emergency landing. They had run out of fuel and both engines had quit. Their FQI nevertheless showed 1800 kgs of fuel. They did not make it to Palermo and ditched in the sea around 15:40.


Classification:
Wrong installation of parts
Fuel starvation
Ditching

Sources:
» ANSA
» ANSV
» Reuters

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV) - Italy
report status: Final
report number: ANSV final report
report released:16-JAN-2008
duration of investigation:893 days (2 years 5.4 months)
download report: Incidente occorso all’aeromobile ATR 72, marche TS-LBB, Capo Gallo (PA), il 06/08/2005 (ANSV final report)

Follow-up / safety actions
On September 7, 2005, the ANSV recommended that the European Aviation Safety Agency, should require an ATR-72 and ATR-42 fleet inspection in order to verify the installation of the applicable Fuel Quantity Indicator, and should consider the possibility to mandate a modification of the Fuel Quantity Indicator installation in order to prevent any incorrect fitting.
On December 6, 2005, the ANSV issued a new safety recommendation, suggesting that EASA consider the possibility to change the fuel system certification regulation for public transport aircraft in order to require that the fuel low level warnings be independent from the fuel gauging systems.

Photos

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Map
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 Bari-Palese Airport to Djerba-Melita Airport as the crow flies is 958 km (599 miles).

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ATR-72

  • 6th loss
  • 595+ built
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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 Italy
  • 37th worst accident
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