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Last updated: 22 September 2019
Date:Monday 15 January 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic C212 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
CASA C-212 Aviocar 200
Operator:Servicios Aéreos Nacionales - SANSA
Registration: TI-SAB
C/n / msn: 163
First flight: 1980-05-06 (9 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs:3589
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-10-511C
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Total:Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 23
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:16 km (10 mls) SSE of San José-Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) (   Costa Rica)
Crash site elevation: 2200 m (7218 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San José-Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO/MROC), Costa Rica
Destination airport:Palmar Sur Airport (PMZ/MRPM), Costa Rica
Flightnumber: 32
A CASA C-212 Aviocar was destroyed when it flew into the side of a mountain at an elevation of 2200 m while on a domestic Costa Rican flight from San José-Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to Palmar Sur Airport (PMZ). All three crew members and twenty passengers were killed in the accident.
SANSA Flight 32 received clearance for a runway 07 departure at 08:23. The controller reported winds from 100 degrees at 30 knots and cleared the flight to climb to 5500 feet after takeoff. The CASA took off at 08:25 and climbed towards a mountainous area, shrouded by clouds. Immediately after takeoff the crew received clearance to climb to 8500 feet. The airplane continued to climb but flew into the side of a wooded mountainside at an elevation of 2200 m (7200 feet).

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "La Comison Investigadora determino que la cause probable del accidente fue el no haber cumplido con el plan de vuelo propuesto inicialmente al Control de Transito Aereo y haber continuado volando con rumbo que llevaria a la aeronave a entrar en condiciones IMC, mientras se volaba bajo reglas de vuelo VFR; sin haber previsto los minimos de seguridad para las condiciones que prevalecian en el lugar por el cual se conducia el vuelo. Actuacion que pudo ser influenciada por la fatiga y desmotivacion.
Contribuyeron al accidente la deficiente administracion de operaciones y la carencia de un programa de seguridad de vuelo por parte del operador."

VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» ICAO Circular 263-AN/157 (1-46)


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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 San José-Juan Santamaria International Airport to Palmar Sur Airport as the crow flies is 141 km (88 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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CASA 212

  • 436+ built
  • 27th loss
  • 19th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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 Costa Rica
  • 2nd worst accident
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