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Last updated: 21 July 2019
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Saturday 23 February 2019
Time:12:39
Type:Silhouette image of generic B763 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 767-375ER (BCF) (WL)
Operated by:Atlas Air
On behalf of:Amazon Prime Air
Registration: N1217A
C/n / msn: 25865/430
First flight: 1992-04-21 (26 years 10 months)
Total airframe hrs:91063
Cycles:23316
Engines: 2 General Electric CF6-80C2B6F
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Trinity Bay, near Anahuac, TX (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Destination airport:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH), United States of America
Flightnumber: 5Y3591
Narrative:
Atlas Air flight 5Y3591, a Boeing 767-300 operated for Amazon Prime Air, was destroyed in a crash at Trinity Bay, near Anahuac, Texas, USA. All three on board were killed.
The aircraft departed Miami International Airport, Florida at 11:33 hours local time (16:33 UTC) on a cargo flight to Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texas, USA. The cruising altitude of FL400 was reached after 20 minutes. Descent towards Houston was commenced at 12:07 hours local time (18:07 UTC).
About 12:30 the pilots contacted the Houston terminal radar approach control (TRACON) arrival controller and reported descending for runway 26L; the airplane was at 17,800 ft with a ground speed 320 knots.
At 12:34, the airplane was descending through 13,800 ft, and the controller advised of an area of light to heavy precipitation along the flight route and that they could expect vectors around the weather. About 12:35, the flight was transferred to the Houston TRACON final controller, and the pilot reported they had received the Houston Automatic Terminal Information System weather broadcast. The controller told the pilots to expect vectors to runway 26L and asked if they wanted to go to the west or north of the weather.
Radar data indicated the airplane continued the descent through 12,000 ft with a ground speed of 290 knots, consistent with the arrival procedure. The pilots responded that they wanted to go to the west of the area of precipitation. The controller advised that to do so, they would need to descend to 3,000 ft expeditiously.
About 12:37, the controller instructed the pilots to turn to a heading of 270°. Radar data indicated the airplane turned, and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data indicated a selected heading of 270°. The airplane was descending through 8,500 ft at this time.
About 12:38, the controller informed the pilots that they would be past the area of weather in about 18 miles, that they could expect a turn to the north for a base leg to the approach to runway 26L, and that weather was clear west of the precipitation area. The pilots responded, "sounds good" and "ok." At this time, radar and ADS-B returns indicated the airplane levelled briefly at 6,200 ft and then began a slight climb to 6,300 ft.
Also, about this time, the FDR data indicated that some small vertical accelerations consistent with the airplane entering turbulence. Shortly after, when the airplane’s indicated airspeed was steady about 230 knots, the engines increased to maximum thrust, and the airplane pitch increased to about 4° nose up. The airplane then pitched nose down over the next 18 seconds to about 49° in response to nose-down elevator deflection. The stall warning (stick shaker) did not activate.
FDR, radar, and ADS-B data indicated that the airplane entered a rapid descent on a heading of 270°, reaching an airspeed of about 430 knots. A security camera video captured the airplane in a steep, generally wings-level attitude until impact with the swamp. FDR data indicated that the airplane gradually pitched up to about 20 degrees nose down during the descent.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: DCA19MA086

Classification:

Sources:
» Flightradar24
» Atlas Air statement
» FAA statement
» NTSB


Photos

photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
accident date: 23-02-2019
type: Boeing 767-375ER (BCF) (WL)
registration: N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
accident date: 23-02-2019
type: Boeing 767-375ER (BCF) (WL)
registration: N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
accident date: 23-02-2019
type: Boeing 767-375ER (BCF) (WL)
registration: N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
accident date: 23-02-2019
type: Boeing 767-375ER (BDSF)
registration: N1217A
photo of Boeing-767-375ER-N1217A
accident date: 23-02-2019
type: Boeing 767-375ER (BDSF)
registration: N1217A
 

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
21 April 1992 N6063S Boeing first flight
1992 C-GCAW Canadian Airlines International not delivered
16 July 1992 EI-CFR GPA registered
4 Nov. 1992 B-2561 China Southern Airlines
Jan. 1997 CC-CRG LAN Chile
14 June 2004 CC-CRG LAN Airlines airline renamed
29 Dec. 2008 LV-BTE LAN Argentina
April 2010 LV-BTE LAN Argentina winglets fitted
18 Oct. 2010 CC-CRG LAN Airlines
22 Oct. 2014 N258CT CIT Leasing
27 Jan. 2016 N258CT Atlas Air
5 April 2016 N631GT Atlas Air
8 Dec 2016 N1217A Atlas Air
April 2017 N1217A Atlas Air BCF (cargo) conversion
30 Apr 2017 N1217A Amazon Prime Air operated by Atlas

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 Miami International Airport, FL to Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX as the crow flies is 1540 km (962 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 767

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