ASN Aircraft accident Gulfstream G-IV N450MB Panama City Albrook-Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport (PAC)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 10 June 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic GLF4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Gulfstream G-IV
Registration: N450MB
MSN: 1295
First flight: 1996
Total airframe hrs:14854
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 12
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 14
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Panama City Albrook-Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport (PAC) (   Panama)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Opa-locka Airport, FL (OPF/KOPF), United States of America
Destination airport:Panama City Albrook-Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport (PAC/MPMG), Panama
The aircraft operated on a flight from Opa-locka Airport, Florida, USA to Panama City-Marcos Gelabert Airport (PAC). Arriving near Panama City, ATC radioed that PAC was closed due to rain. The crew decided to proceed to Tocumen Airport (PTY) and were vectored to that airport.
While proceeding to PTY they were notified by ATC that Panamá Pacífico Airport (BLB) was in visual conditions, which made them change the decision and proceed to BLB and were authorized to RNAV approach to runway 36.
During the approach, ATC radioed that PAC had resumed operations and was open, so the crew decided to proceed to PAC since it was the initial destination airport.
The crew was assigned a visual approach to runway 01 for which the crew requested a long approach, which was performed at night with drizzle.
On short final an indication appeared on the EICAS showing 'steer by wire Fail'. The captain proceeded to reconfigure the nose wheel steering. The aircraft descended below the glide path and the first Officer warned the captain about four red lights of the PAPI. When adding power, a sound was heard, but the aircraft landed normally. Upon arrival at the hangar, serious damage was observed on the left-hand wing leading edge and flaps. It appeared the aircraft had struck light poles.

Probable Cause:

The cause of the accident that occurred when the aircraft struck 2 light poles on the landing trajectory located outside the airport perimeter fence in a vehicular traffic circle at a diametrical distance 300 m or more away from the runway threshold, was due to the human factor failure of the person in control of the controls at the time of landing. There was a chain of events that led to the reason:
3.1 The changes of airport that the crew had to make for the landing as the airport of final landing destination was closed due to rain.
3.2 The disregard of the command controls already in the final short trajectory when taking action of a light that was illuminated in the instrument panel, taking control of the aircraft controls at that moment according to the pilot's version.
3.3 The failure of the pilot in command to take action when he was notified of the red PAPI lights and that he could have made a missed approach even in the rain, with the windshield wipers on and the runway in sight.
3.4 Lack of CRM (Cockpit Resource Management).
3.5 The destabilized approach and the fact of impacting 2 poles, one of 75 feet and the other of 50 feet, which are approximately 300 meters or more from the threshold of runway 01, indicates that there were not adequate procedures since that height (50 feet) is the height that should have been over the threshold, more than 300 meters ahead.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: OFINVAA
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 2 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Collision with pole or wires
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground


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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 Opa-locka Airport, FL to Panama City Albrook-Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport as the crow flies is 1873 km (1171 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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