ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 757-225 TC-GEN Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 6 February 1996
Type:Silhouette image of generic B752 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 757-225
Operating for:Alas Nacionales
Leased from:Birgenair
Registration: TC-GEN
MSN: 22206/31
First flight: 1984-02-03 (12 years )
Total airframe hrs:29269
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4
Crew:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 176 / Occupants: 176
Total:Fatalities: 189 / Occupants: 189
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:26 km (16.3 mls) NE off Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (   Atlantic Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Puerto Plata-La Union International Airport (POP/MDPP), Dominican Republic
Destination airport:Gander Airport, NL (YQX/CYQX), Canada
Alas Nacionales flight 301 departed Puerto Plata for a charter flight to Frankfurt via Gander and Berlin at 23:42 LT. At 80 knots on takeoff the captain found out that his air speed indicator (ASI) wasn't working properly. The co-pilot's indicator seemed to work fine. While climbing through 4700 feet the captain's ASI read 350 knots (real speed was about 220 kts); this resulted in an autopilot/autothrottle reaction to increase the pitch-up attitude and a power reduction in order to lower the airspeed. At that time the crew got 'Rudder ratio' and 'Mach airspeed' advisory warnings. Both pilots got confused when the co-pilot stated that his ASI read 200 knots decreasing while getting an excessive speed-warning, followed by a stick shaker warning. This led the pilots to believe that both ASIs were unreliable.
Finally realizing that they were losing speed and altitude they disconnected the autopilot. The autopilot, fed by the captain's faulty ASI, had reduced the speed close to the stall speed. Full thrust was then applied. At 23:47:17 an aural GPWS warning sounded. Eight seconds later the aircraft struck the ocean.
The incorrect ASI readings were probably caused by the obstruction of the pitot system by mud and/or debris from a small insect that was introduced in the pitot tube during the time the aircraft was on the ground. The aircraft was not flown for 20 days before the crash and was returned for service without a verification of the pitot-static system as recommended by Boeing.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The crew's failure to recognize the activation of the stick shaker as a warning of imminent entrance to the stall, and the failure of the crew to execute the procedures for recovery from the onset of loss of control."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: DGAC Dom. Rep.
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 262 days (9 months)
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

Pitot head issues
Loss of control

» Air Safety Week 12 February 1996 (p. 1)
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 12.02.96(33,34)
» Flight International 14-21 February 1996 (4)
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-96-15 through -20
» Erroneous Airspeed Indications Cited in Boeing 757 Control Loss (Flight Safety Foundation - Accident Prevention October 1999)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Boeing-757-225-TC-GEN
accident date: 06-02-1996
type: Boeing 757-225
registration: TC-GEN

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 Puerto Plata-La Union International Airport to Gander Airport, NL as the crow flies is 3524 km (2203 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 757

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