Not too sure what happened here yesterday but these videos are crazy. It reminds me of at least two other recent incidents that thankfully did not crash.
The spotters on the ground had enough sense to get out of the way. Thankfully nobody was run over by what was somewhere near 190,000 pounds of not exactly flying aluminum. My prayers go out to the families of all involved.
A single engine failure should not have caused this airplane to crash. The investigators will probably focus first on the cargo manifests and maintenance records and move on from there if the obvious reasons get ruled out early.
These videos below will certainly help investigators quickly rule out “dead ends” as they investigate what happened yesterday in Colombia.
Here is the first point of view video shot from the departure end of the runway and port side of the Aerosucre 727.
Here is a second video shot from the other side of the dirt road, starboard side of the aircraft in view, also shows the crash.
The people are saying “the airplane lost a tire on the road” in the videos.
These old Kitty Hawk 727s used to fly through Honolulu back in the 1990′s. They used to haul the fish out of Micronesia before Asia Pacific would take that business away. Here’s a picture of another Kitty Hawk 727 (not the one that just crashed in Colombia) parked next to another Kitty Hawk L-1011.
Honolulu South Ramp in the 1990′s
It’s always hard for pilots to see airplanes we once flew in accidents. I have flown at least 5 airplanes that would go on to be crashed (that I know of). It is possible CN 21105 may have come through Honolulu but I still don’t have any photos of it.
One of the last 727 operators in the USA just made a picture perfect emergency landing on Guam a few days ago. The pilots did everything they could to get the nose wheel down and locked before landing. After exhausting all attempts to lock the nose gear down, the pilots brought the old classic “three-holer” to a graceful stop on Guam with only the main gear available. Impressive videos have made USA Today, England’s Daily Mail, even Russia Today.
Excellent work Captain R! They should put you in charge of all operations immediately and double your salary. You are a positive example of how to save the day when things fall apart around you. GOOD JOB!
A nose gear up landing is not the worst thing that can happen to an airplane. This airplane can be repaired and be returned to flying rather quickly. Asia Pacific Airlines has crashed and fixed airplanes before. Back in May 2008, Asia Pacific’s N319NE overran the runway on Pohnpei and ended up on the reef in the lagoon. No video of that crash exists that I am aware of but first hand accounts from the engineer who was (in my opinion) wrongly blamed for the runway excursion, were quite dramatic to say the least. He told me that from his back seat, it looked like he was in a submarine diving under water. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in that crash either.
This airplane was quickly repaired and still flies for Asia Pacific Airlines to this day although, as of this writing it is AOG on remote PTKK (Chuuk Island FSM)
Asia Pacific Airlines now has zero operable aircraft flying. Their third 727 (N705AA) is undergoing an engine change and FAA certification for their replacement 757′s still eludes the airline.
The 737-800 freighter will be the perfect airplane to serve these Island Nations essential air cargo lifelines. Unfortunately, that airplane won’t be available until late 2017.