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Last updated: 24 March 2019
Date:Wednesday 19 May 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-46
Operator:SAM Colombia
Registration: HK-2422X
C/n / msn: 18876/217
First flight: 1965-12-30 (27 years 5 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7A
Crew:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 125 / Occupants: 125
Total:Fatalities: 132 / Occupants: 132
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:40 km (25 mls) SE of Medellín (   Colombia)
Crash site elevation: 3749 m (12300 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Panama City-Tocumen International Airport (PTY/MPTO), Panama
Destination airport:Rionegro/Medellín-José María Córdova Airport (MDE/SKRG), Colombia
Flightnumber: 501
A Boeing 727-46 passenger plane, registered HK-2422X, was destroyed in an accident near Medellín, Colombia. There were 125 passengers and seven crew members on board. All were killed.
SAM Colombia flight 501 departed Panama City-Tocumen International Airport (PTY) on a scheduled service to Medellín (MDE) and Bogotá (BOG), Colombia.
The crew reported over the Abejorral NDB beacon at FL160, approaching Medellín. The flight was then cleared to descend to FL120. The 727 had actually not yet reached the beacon, and descended into mountainous terrain. The flight struck Mount Paramo Frontino at 12300 feet. Thunderstorm activity in the area made ADF navigation more difficult and the RNG VOR/DME had been attacked by terrorists and was unserviceable.


Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Air Safety Week 7 June 1995 (p. 4,5)
» Air Safety Week 24 May 1993 (p. 4)
» Flight International
» Scramble 168


photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
photo of Boeing 727-46 HK-2422X
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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 Panama City-Tocumen International Airport to Rionegro/Medellín-José María Córdova Airport as the crow flies is 540 km (338 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Boeing 727

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  • 65th loss
  • 45th fatal accident
  • 12th worst accident (at the time)
  • 14th worst accident (currently)
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