“One hundred and fifty two!” Muñoz gasped. “The airplane is uncontrollable!”. The jet's tail cone fell off in early July 2005 and was replaced. A few months before the accident, the airline had been fined $46,000 for lack of pilot training and failure to log required flight data. However, the pilots had set the autopilot to “altitude hold” mode, commanding it to maintain an altitude of 33,000 feet. The charter flight from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City to Fort de France Le Lamentin International Airport on Martinique had been booked by a Martinique-based travel agency, and almost all of the 152 passengers consisted of the tourists and their guides.

Nearly all the passengers were French citizens from Martinique, with the exception of one Italian, acting as the tour operator. A short film, Crossing Away, produced for the 10th anniversary of the Martinique-Panama plane crash, was not released until 2017. In addition, West Caribbean Airways came under criticism: West Caribbean failed to provide its pilots with the operation bulletin from McDonnell Douglas, specifically addressing the autopilot issue; failed to emphasize CRM in ongoing pilot training; created stress for its pilots by not providing regular paychecks for a period of nearly six months leading up to the accident; and further created stress for the accident crew when the airplane was delayed and almost refused takeoff at their previous stop due to West Caribbean's non-payment of catering and food service fees.[10][14]. To Muñoz, Ospina shouted, “Affirmative, tell him we have flame out on both engines!” Once again, Muñoz passed this on to ATC. By now they were plunging downward at an astonishing rate of 12,000 feet per minute. The Medellín-based West Caribbean Airways started as a charter service in 1998.

The plane then stalled and began to fall from the sky, descending at a rate of 5,000 feet per minute, accelerating downward ever faster with each passing moment. Otherwise, lift will decrease and the plane will descend. While flying at 33,000 ft (10,000 m), the aircraft's speed gradually decreased until it entered an aerodynamic stall.

To hold the plane this level, the autopilot had to preserve the amount of lift acting on the aircraft despite the loss in speed. This put the plane dangerously close to a stall, in which the angle of attack becomes so great that air stops flowing smoothly over the top of the wings and lift begins to decrease. Therefore, as flight 708 decelerated past 256 knots, the amount of additional thrust needed to prevent the continued loss of speed progressively increased, until the power required was greater than the power available in any configuration. The 160-person death toll made the accident the deadliest of 2005. The aircraft was being flown too high for its weight and the icing conditions it faced. West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 was a West Caribbean Airways charter flight which crashed in a mountainous region in northwest Venezuela on the morning of Tuesday, August 16, 2005, killing all 152 passengers and eight crew.

Het niet onderkennen van de overtrek kan als hoofdoorzaak van de ramp worden gezien. Compounding this dynamic was the fact that Muñoz was only 21 years old, barely half the age of his captain. By the time the plane arrived in Panama City, it was already running late — the preceding flight from Colombia was delayed because West Caribbean Airways had not paid for the fuel. Investigators found that an engine failure had occurred on takeoff, and the pilots failed to follow established engine out procedures, resulting in a loss of control.

West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 was a West Caribbean Airways charter flight which crashed in a mountainous region in northwest Venezuela on the morning of Tuesday, 16 August 2005, killing all 152 passengers and eight crew. The pilots reported “Confirm what level are you crossing at this time, Whiskey Charlie Whiskey 708?” asked the controller. [11][13] Underscoring the finding listing pilot error as a cause, the JIAAC noted a lack of both situational awareness and crew resource management (CRM), which would have better enabled the crew to properly respond to the stall and the severity of the emergency. West Caribbean Airways Flight 708, a chartered West Caribbean Airways McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft heading from Panama to Martinique in the Caribbean, crashed in remote western Venezuela due to human errors, killing all 160 aboard, mostly French nationals By 2005, the airline had already developed a troubled history. Analysis of the cockpit voice recorder showed that the crew discussed weather conditions, including icing, and continually requested and performed descents which is the usual response to a low power or low airspeed situation. 06:59 Crew sends distress call: both engines malfunctioning, aircraft uncontrollable. At that time, the airspeed was already near stall speed, and the autopilot had already compensated with a nose-up attitude (angle of attack, or AOA) of 5.8° in an effort to maintain a constant height. Both above and below this critical speed, the amount of engine thrust needed to maintain a constant velocity increases. The plan made no mention of weather conditions, despite a line of storms stretching across Panama’s east coast and down into Colombia and Venezuela. They attempted to divert the plane to Maracaibo for an emergency landing. No one started or even mentioned any emergency checklist. The aircraft had taken off from its origin in a slightly overloaded state.

While flying through a storm, the Airbus A330’s pitot tubes, which measure airspeed, froze and stopped providing valid information.


After a 7,000 The confusion and lack of action resulted in the crash.[2]:123–124. © Timenote.info, Biedrība, Abinfoserviss 2011-2020, Terms, Phone: +371 67 842135, E-mail: info@nekropole.info, U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashes near NASA flight center, 10 человек погибли в катастрофе автобуса в Забайкалье, At least 37 killed in Turkish cargo plane crash in Kyrgyzstan, Uz Zviedrijas un Norvēģijas robežas notikusi pasta lidmašīnas aviokatastrofa. Instead of taking any action, he ordered his first officer to request a lower altitude from air traffic control, and Muñoz dutifully obeyed! The system uses power from the engines, thus reducing their maximum performance. On 16 August 2005, the company West Caribbean Airways operated passenger charter flight No WCW 708, with authorised operating permit No 889 issued by the Colombian Civil Aeronautical Air Transport Authority, its route being from Tocumen International Airport (MPTO) in Panama City to Martinique International Airport in Martinique, at flight level (FL) 350. All times are UTC. Over the next several minutes, the plane’s airspeed continued to drop, and the autopilot continued to increase the angle of attack to compensate. That made West Caribbean Airways flight 708 the deadliest plane crash in the history of Venezuela. But an examination of the ruined engines suggested that they were generating power at impact, and the readout from the flight data recorder confirmed this. The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, was in route from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama to Fort de France, Martinique (FDF). At this point, First Officer Muñoz suggested that they to descend back to 31,000 feet, although he didn’t voice his reasons for doing so. The 160 person death toll made the accident the deadliest of 2005, and jointly (with China Northwest Airlines flight 2303, which had an identical death toll) the 50th deadliest crash of all time. The 160-person death toll made the accident the deadliest of 2005, the deadliest aviation disaster to occur in Venezuela, and the deadliest involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-82. It remains to be seen whether these efforts, and those following the similar crashes that have occurred since, will effect a long-term reduction in pilot errors involving high altitude stalls.


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