ASN Aircraft accident Fokker F-27 Friendship 500 N715FE Melo Airport (MLZ)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 27 April 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic F27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fokker F-27 Friendship 500
Operated by:Mountain Air Cargo
On behalf of:FedEx Express
Registration: N715FE
MSN: 10468
First flight: 1971
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Dart 552-7R
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Melo Airport (MLZ) (   Uruguay)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Buenos Aires/Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport, BA (EZE/SAEZ), Argentina
Destination airport:Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS (POA/SBPA), Brazil
The aircraft departed Buenos Aires (EZE) for a cargo flight to São Paulo-Viracopos (VCP) via Porto Alegre (POA). En route on the first leg, at an altitude of FL170, a crew member headed to the cargo compartment, and noticed the presence of smoke. he tried to extinguish the fire with emergency equipment, but did not succeed. Some 16 nm from Melo Airport (MLZ), Uruguay, the crew declared an in-flight emergency to Montevideo ACC. The operating hours of the only airport nearby, Melo, are from 07:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs, so it was closed. Montevideo ACC contacted the airport guard who switched on the runway lights and reported the emergency to fire fighters and police located in the city. The aircraft found the runway lights and landed on runway 07. Touchdown took place 340 m from the threshold. The F-27 stopped 640 m after touchdown. The crew evacuated through the cockpit windows, due to the intense heat and smoke in the cargo area. Ten minutes after landing, the fire fighters arrived and succeeded in extinguishing the fire. The airplane suffered considerable damage in the cargo compartments E and F.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from Spanish):
Numerous oil samples, plant tissues, and several animals that were transported, would have reacted on contact with an exothermic chemical reaction and associated combustion. The event originated with the spilling of liquid from containers not suitable for differential pressure, with little excess capacity for expansion and filled with indiscriminate materials.
Low stringency in filling forms for description of product delivered for shipment in company offices and little control or careless handling of the load would have contributed to the occurrence of the accident.

Cargo fire/smoke
Inflight fire
Forced landing on runway

» ICAO Adrep


photo of Fokker-F-27500-N715FE
accident date: 27-04-2004
type: Fokker F-27 Friendship 500
registration: N715FE
photo of Fokker-F-27500-N715FE
accident date: 27-04-2004
type: Fokker F-27 Friendship 500
registration: N715FE

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 Buenos Aires/Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport, BA to Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS as the crow flies is 872 km (545 miles).

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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