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Last updated: 16 September 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 18 May 2018
Time:12:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-201 Advanced
Operating for:Cubana de Aviación
Leased from:Global Air
Registration: XA-UHZ
C/n / msn: 21816/592
First flight: 1979-07-15 (38 years 11 months)
Total airframe hrs:69596
Cycles:70651
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 106 / Occupants: 107
Total:Fatalities: 112 / Occupants: 113
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) E of Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV) (   Cuba)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV/MUHA), Cuba
Destination airport:Holguín-Frank Pais Airport (HOG/MUHG), Cuba
Flightnumber:CU972
Narrative:
The Boeing 737-200, registration XA-UHZ crashed on takeoff from Havana-José Martí International Airport, Cuba. The aircraft came down in vegetation near a railway outside the airport, broke up and burst into flames. There were 107 passengers on board along with six Mexican crew members. Three passengers initially survived the accident. One survivor died on May 21 and a second died on May 25.
The aircraft was owned and operated by Mexican airline Damojh Aerolíneas, operating as Global Air, on behalf of Cubana. XA-UHZ began its operations in Cuba starting May 14, 2018.
On May 18, the day of the accident, the aircraft flew a trip from Havana to Santiago de Cuba and back, arriving at Havana at 10:20 hours local time. The next trip to be flight 972 to Holguín, Cuba, with a scheduled departure time of 11:00 hours.
In the preparation for this flight calculations were made of takeoff weight and weight distribution. The cabin configuration on the load sheet differed from the actual configuration of XA-UHZ.
Based on these data the Centre of Gravity (CG) was calculated to be at 17.4%. Actually it was 28.5%, close to the rear limit of the aircraft, which is 29%. Consequently the horizontal stabilizer trim was set at 5¾ units, instead of 3¼ units.
At 12:00 hours the flight was cleared to start the engines. Subsequently the aircraft was cleared to taxi to runway 06 for departure. In between working the checklists, the crew were engaged in non-flight related conversations.
After receiving clearance for takeoff, the aircraft began to accelerate down runway 06. As soon as it rotated from the runway, the aircraft attained a nose-high and right wing low attitude. The GPWS warning began to sound in the cockpit: "Bank angle, bang angle!" The bank angle reached 35° before the aircraft rolled back. It banked right and left several times with the nose reaching about 30 degrees nose up. The crew issued a Mayday call. The aircraft lost speed and began an uncontrolled descent until it impacted the ground about 40 seconds after lifting off the runway.

Probable Cause:

Most likely causes (translated from Spanish):
The CEIAA has considered that the most probable cause of the accident was the collapse of the aircraft, as a consequence of its entry into abnormal positions immediately after the separation of the landing gear from the runway surface (Lift off) during take-off, which led to the loss of control due to a chain of errors, with a preponderance in the human factor.
Contributing factors:
- inconsistencies in crew training;
- errors in weight and balance calculations;
- low operational standards manifested in flight.

Classification:
Centre of Gravity outside limits
Loss of control

Sources:
» Radio Coco
» SCT Mexico

METAR Weather report:
14:55 UTC / 10:55 local time:
MUHA 181455Z 17006KT 140V220 9000 SCT013 OVC130 27/24 Q1015

15:55 UTC / 11:55 local time:
MUHA 181555Z 17004KT 140V220 9000 SCT017 OVC210 28/23 Q1015

16:55 UTC / 12:55 local time:
MUHA 181655Z 13005KT 090V190 9000 SCT018 OVC130 29/23 Q1015


Follow-up / safety actions
Mexican aviation authorities suspended the AOC of Global Air as of May 21, as it initiated a safety inspection.

Photos

photo of Boeing-737-201-Advanced-XA-UHZ
photo of Boeing-737-201-XA-UHZ
accident date: 18-05-2018
type: Boeing 737-201
registration: XA-UHZ
photo of Boeing-737-201-XA-UHZ
accident date: 18-05-2018
type: Boeing 737-201
registration: XA-UHZ
photo of Boeing-737-201-XA-UHZ
accident date: 18-05-2018
type: Boeing 737-201
registration: XA-UHZ
 

Video, social media

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
15 July 1979 N769N Boeing first flight
7 August 1979 N769N Piedmont Airlines delivered
27 Nov.1988 N227AU Piedmont Airlines new registration
5 August 1989 N227AU USAir airline merged
27 Feb. 1997 N227AU US Airways airline renamed
27 Sep. 2000 C-FRYH Royal Airlines
1 May 2001 C-FRYH Canada 3000 Airlines airline aquired by Canada 3000
19 Oct. 2001 N227AU US Navy leased
16 March 2005 XA-MAK Magnicharters
Aug. 2007 XA-UHZ Global Air
2007-2018 XA-UHZ NACAM - National Airways Cameroon;
Avolar;
Benin Golf Air;
Aero Caribbean;
Línea Aérea SINAMI;
EasySky Airlines;
Cubana
leased

Map
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 Havana-José Martí International Airport to Holguín-Frank Pais Airport as the crow flies is 671 km (419 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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Boeing 737-200

  • 1114 built
  • 122nd loss
  • 60th fatal accident
  • 10th worst accident
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 Cuba
  • 2nd worst accident
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