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Last updated: 9 December 2019
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Wednesday 3 May 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic GLF2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman G-1159 Gulfstream II
Operator:American Jet
Registration: N409MA
C/n / msn: 83
First flight: 1970
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 50 km SSE of Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO) (   Ecuador)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:La Paz-El Alto Airport (LPB/SLLP), Bolivia
Destination airport:Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO/SEQU), Ecuador
The crew selected the frequency of the QMS VOR instead of the QIT VOR when trying to carry out the QIT VOR instrument approach procedure. This took the aircraft over the mountainous area 12 miles South of the planned track. The Gulfstream struck the Sincholagua Volcano at FL160.
The flight crew had limited experience on the Gulfstream II. They had completed simulator training in January 1995 and logged 105 flight hours since.

Probable Cause:

The Junta Investigadora de Accidentes estimates that the accident occurred because the crew selected the wrong frequency, using the Condorcocha VOR instead of the Monjas VOR.
It also considers the lack of familiarity of the crew with instrument procedures of Quito Airport, the limited experience of the two crew members on the Grumman aircraft, neglect of the crew in the final phase of the flight to hold a private conversation, lack of compliance with verification of the frequency selection during descent briefing.


Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/1995 (#14)
», 2-6-1995


photo of Gulfstream-Aerospace-G-1159-Gulfstream-II-N404M
accident date: 03-05-1995
type: Gulfstream Aerospace G-1159 Gulfstream II
registration: N404M

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 La Paz-El Alto Airport to Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport as the crow flies is 2134 km (1334 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from 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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