ASN Aircraft accident Let L-410UVP-E20 HR-AUQ El Espino
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 14 February 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic L410 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Let L-410UVP-E20
Operator:Central American Airways - CAA
Registration: HR-AUQ
MSN: 912603
First flight: 1991
Total airframe hrs:5153
Engines: 2 Walter M-601E
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:El Espino (   Honduras)
Crash site elevation: 1650 m (5413 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Pedro Sula-Ramon Villeda Morales Airport (SAP/MHLM), Honduras
Destination airport:Tegucigalpa-Toncontin Airport (TGU/MHTG), Honduras
Flightnumber: 731
A Let L-410 passenger plane, HR-AUQ, was destroyed in an accident near El Espino, Honduras. All 12 passengers and two crew members on board were killed. The airplane operated on Central American Airways flight 731 from San Pedro Sula (SAP) to Tegucigalpa (TGU).
The flight had departed San Pedro Sula at 07:04 for the forty minute flight to Tegucigalpa. The pilot flying deviated from the airways without clearance from air traffic control. At 07:34 the controller at Toncontin Airport cleared the flight direct to the 15 DME fix (final approach fix) for a VOR/DME approach to runway 20 and to descend to 9000 feet. At 07:51 the fight reported that they were performing a missed approach, after which the flight was cleared for a VOR/DME approach to runway 02. The airplane was lined up with runway 02 and descending with full flaps, when at about 12 km from the runway the airplane stalled. The descent could not be arrested and the airplane impacted a wooded hillside at an elevation of 5412 ft.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSES (translated from original Spanish language report):
1) Weather conditions existing at the time of the event, during the approach to the runway the aircraft was operated slightly above the stall speed and a major change in wind speed could cause a stall. The altitude at which the windshear occured, and the reaction time of the pilot and the responsiveness of the aircraft determined whether the descent could be arrested in time to avoid an accident.
2) No published descent procedures were performed, possibly misinterpretation of Flight Instruments (altimeter, airspeed indicator).
3) During the descent to the VOR/DME for runway 20 and 02, the pilot in command (PIC) did not check his approach chart, and did not continually consult the first officer on the altitude and course.
4) There was no adequate communication between crew; deficient CRM (No approach briefing was made for any of the two approaches).
5) The aircraft was configured for landing with flaps fully down (flap 42) at a very long distance from the track without having it in sight. It is noteworthy that the aircraft will not respond to an adverse condition windshear as it appeared at that time with such a configuration. It should be noted that in both approaches it is mandatory to perdorm a "circuling" procedure.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CIAA Honduras
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

» El Tiempo
» La Tribuna
» Confirmado: Catorce personas fallecieron en accidente de aviación en Las Mesitas (Proceso, 14-2-2011)

METAR Weather report:
14:00 UTC / 08:00 local time:
MHTG 141400Z 36009KT 5000 VCSH FEW007 BKN020 17/14 Q1022 A3018 NOSIG=
Wind 360 degrees at 9 knots; Visibility 5000m; Showers in the vicinity; Few clouds 700 ft., broken clouds 2,000 ft.; Temperature 17°C; Dew point 14°C; 1022 hPa


photo of Let-L-410UVP-E20-HR-AUQ
accident date: 14-02-2011
type: Let L-410UVP-E20
registration: HR-AUQ

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
1991 CCCP-67673 Aeroflot stored, not delivered
1992 OK-WDP Let ?
1 DEC 1993 J2-KBF Puntavia delivered
1994 J2-KBF Somali Air Services leased
1997 OK-WDP Let
DEC 1997 LV-WYV Orion
2001 S9-TBY Aerotec International
21 FEB 2002 D-CLET Aerotec International registered
SEP 2002 D-CLET Antares
AUG 2007 HH-AVP delivered
DEC 2007 HR-AUQ Central American Airways

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 Pedro Sula-Ramon Villeda Morales Airport to Tegucigalpa-Toncontin Airport as the crow flies is 171 km (107 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the 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.
languages: languages


Let L-410

  • 1138+ built
  • 103rd loss
  • 48th fatal accident
  • 12th worst accident (at the time)
  • 15th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

  • 6th worst accident
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