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Interactive: The Chapecoense aircraft crashed because it ran out of fuel while waiting to land

The airplane’s fuel capacity was very tight for the journey, but the pilot failed to refuel at a nearby airport and took too long to notify the emergency to the control tower.

The last minutes of flight LMI 2933


The aircraft approached the destination airport and began to descend for landing around 9:41 p.m. (local time). The last minutes of the flight were registered in the recording of conversations between LaMia’s pilot and a female air traffic controller [IN SPANISH].

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The aircraft approaches to the airport. It flies in circles while waiting for permission to land. The pilot asked for priority.
The pilot warns that he's in an emergency situation due to the lack of fuel, and asks to go down immediately.
The controller gives instructions to start the landing process. The pilot replies, "Negative, ma'am, we are beginning our descent."
The pilot says the plane ran out of fuel and is suffering a "total failure" in the electrical system. After that the signal is lost on the radar.
From the cockpit they cry out for the landing route. It is the last communication with the control tower. The plane crashes.
The aircraft approaches to the airport. It flies in circles while waiting for permission to land. The pilot asked for priority.
The pilot warns that he's in an emergency situation due to the lack of fuel, and asks to go down immediately.
The controller gives instructions to start the landing process. The pilot replies, "Negative, ma'am, we are beginning our descent."
From the cockpit they cry out for the landing route. It is the last communication with the control tower. The plane crashes.

Insufficient fuel for the journey


According to some specialized websites, the doomed plane had an approximate range of 1,842 miles (2,965 km), 6 miles (10 km) less than what was needed to complete the journey from the airport at Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) to José María Cordova (Colombia), which is 1,849 miles (2,975 km).

Avro RJ85

Fuel tank

An officer present at the scene said that "it didn’t even smell like gasoline."

Avro RJ85

Fuel tank

An officer present at the scene said that "it didn’t even smell like gasoline."

An officer present at the scene said that "it didn’t even smell like gasoline."

Avro RJ85

Fuel tank

An officer present at the scene said that "it didn’t even smell like gasoline."

Avro RJ85

Fuel tank

The plane should have made a refueling stopover


A representative from LaMia, the company which owns the plane, told Página Siete [IN SPANISH] newspaper that the pilot should have made stops in Cobija (Bolivia) or Bogotá to refuel.

0 mi

Departure

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Avro RJ85

Cobija

592.8 mi (954 km)

The plane went down 8.2 miles (15 km) from the runway due to lack of fuel.

Bogotá

1,718 mi

(2,765 km)

1,849 mi

(2,975 km)

Destination

Medellín

Approximate distances (calculated in a straight line).

0 mi

Departure

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Avro RJ85

Cobija

592.8 mi (954 km)

The plane went down 8.2 miles (15 km) from the runway due to lack of fuel.

Bogotá

1,718 mi (2,765 km)

1,849 m

(2,975 km)

Destination

Medellín

Approximate distances (calculated in a straight line).

The plane went down 8.2 miles (15 km) from the runway due to lack of fuel.

Departure

Destination

Avro RJ85

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Medellín

1,849 mi (2,975 km)

0 mi

Bogotá

Cobija

592.8 mi (954 km)

1,718 mi (2,765 km)

Approximate distances (calculated in a straight line).

The plane went down 8.2 miles (15 km) from the runway due to lack of fuel.

Departure

Destination

Avro RJ85

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Medellín

1,849 mi (2,975 km)

0 mi

Bogotá

Cobija

592.8 mi (954 km)

1,718 mi (2,765 km)

Approximate distances (calculated in a straight line).

The original plan of the Chapeconense Brazilian football team was to fly directly from Brazil to Colombia on a chartered flight. Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) did not authorize it. The Chapecoense team then changed their plans and flew to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where they took the LaMia flight.

Accident

About 8.2 miles (15 km) south of Medellín.

Destination

Medellín

500 km

250 mi

Bogotá

COLOMBIA

BRAZIL

Cobija

BOLIVIA

Rio de Janeiro

Departure

Santa Cruz

de la Sierra

The aircraft was a 17-year old Avro 146-RJ85 with capacity for 112 people.

Accident

About 8.2 miles (15 km) south of Medellín.

Destination

Medellín

500 km

250 mi

Bogotá

COLOMBIA

BRAZIL

Cobija

BOLIVIA

Departure

Rio de Janeiro

Santa Cruz

de la Sierra

The aircraft was a 17-year old Avro 146-RJ85 with capacity for 112 people.

VENEZUELA

Destination

Bogotá

Medellín

COLOMBIA

Accident

About 8.2 miles (15 km) south of Medellín.

PERÚ

BRAZIL

Cobija

La Paz

BOLIVIA

Departure

Santa Cruz

de la Sierra

500 km

Rio de Janeiro

250 mi

The aircraft was a 17-year old Avro 146-RJ85 with capacity for 112 people.

VENEZUELA

Destination

Bogotá

Medellín

COLOMBIA

The aircraft was a 17-year old Avro 146-RJ85 with capacity for 112 people.

Accident

About 8.2 miles (15 km) south of Medellín.

PERÚ

BRAZIL

Cobija

BOLIVIA

La Paz

Departure

Santa Cruz

de la Sierra

500 km

Rio de Janeiro

250 mi

Juan Jesús Gómez Hinestrosa contributed to this report.
SOURCES: Flightradar24, O Globo, El Tiempo, Airliners.net.
IMAGES: Google Earth.


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