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).
|Date:||Saturday 6 August 2005|
|C/n / msn:|| 258|
|First flight:|| 1991|
|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)
|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|
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.
Official accident investigation 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.
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).