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UTA Plane Crash - 727 Was 10 Tons Overweight  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10526 times:

This last Christmas, a UTA 727-200 that was bound operating a winter charter from Cotonou, Benin to Beirut, Lebanon crashed off the coast of Benin after take-off.

French and Lebanese authorities have concluded that the cause of the crash is because the aircraft was 10 tons overweight and the weight was poorly spread throughout the plane.

Union des Transports Africains (UTA) is partially Lebanese owned and wanted to register itself in Lebanon, but was denied registration by Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority's due to unacceptable safety procedures, as a result it registered itself in Guinea.

Originally the airline was denied authorization to begin flights to Beirut, but then somehow was able to represent acceptable safety procedures and was able to launch flights.

Lebanese officials stated that when the time comes, those responsible for the tragedy will be prosecuted in Lebanon.

More than 130 people died in the crash.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?categ_id=2&article_id=1316

Regards


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10440 times:

How in the hell to you get a 727 20,000 lbs overweight?




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10374 times:

I accept the fact that pilots are under quite a lot of pressure from the airlines to fly - but 10 tons overweight? I'm no expert, but isn't that a situation where a pilot should say "I want to fly, but I also want to be alive at the end of this day, so I won't fly the plane the way it is now"?

I mean - 10 tons... that's not just 2 or 3 extra mangos (or fish) on board... that is a huge amount!

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6280 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10366 times:

That's a lot of car transmissions that people were carrying in their luggage...


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2008 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10333 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I guess this airline didn't bother with trivial little items such as weight and balance, let alone let the pilot have the figures to set trim, take-off speed, etc...


It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10324 times:

From Boeing's website, http://www.boeing.com/commercial/727family/index.html#

"The 727's highest gross weight was eventually raised to 210,000 pounds (95,300 kg)."

I agree with L-188, how do you overload a 722 by a good 10 percent?

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10289 times:

It must have been fuel.... 130 people plus full tanks could have put it over its max t/o weight.....


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10245 times:

A tragedy that could have easily been avoided (and saved 130 lives), if it wasn't for putting profits ahead of safety.


EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10245 times:

It was reported there were more than 200 people on the plane. People were sitting in the aisles and people were sharing seats. That's right, 2 or 3 people in 1 seat and people sitting on the floor in the aisles.

Don't know exactly what they said, but it was reported the plane was also packed with cargo, too much of it and too heavy.

That's all I know unfortunately........

I'll try to find more articles.

Here's an article from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3351083.stm

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10173 times:

According to http://aviation-safety.net/database/2003/031225-0.htm, there were 156 pax plus the crew on the plane.

"Union des Transports Africains de Guinée operates two flights a week from Conakry, Guinea to Beirut and Dubai with their newly acquired ex-American Airlines Boeing 727. On December 25, UTA Flight 141 departed Conakry, Guinea for a scheduled flight to Beirut, Lebanon with a planned intermediate stop at Cotonou. At Cotonou nine of the 92 passengers deplaned and 73 persons boarded the flight. It was a warm afternoon at a temperature of 32 deg. C with a light breeze as the 727 taxied to runway 24. Runway 06/24 is an asphalt runway, measuring 2400 (7874 feet) meters with a 61m (199 feet) overrun zone. According to FAA runway length requirement calculations, a fully laden Boeing 727-200 with JT8D-9 engines and a 25-degrees flap setting would, given the weather and airfield elevation, need a runway length of approx. 8000 feet.
Apparently the 727 barely climbed after takeoff, causing the main undercarriage to strike the roof of a 2-3 meters high small building housing radio equipment. The operator inside the building suffered injuries. The plane continued, smashed through the airport boundary fence, crashed and broke up on the shoreline."


Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10129 times:

Jesus! 200 on a 727!

I thought most passengers were Lebanese? how did they let something like this happen? Personally I (and probably most people) wouldn't fly on a plane if passengers were sharing seats and being strapped to the foor



EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineFly727 From Mexico, joined Jul 2003, 1789 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10027 times:

I thought all of AA's 727-200s were fitted with -15 instead of -9 engines....
Anyone knows?

RM  Smile



There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10019 times:

Horus,

Nevermind, Tom is right. There were 156 people on board, not 200.

Old reports stated that there were 200 people onboard, but later on it was concluded that there were 156. This mix-up was caused because UTA did not have a passenger list handy!

What a wonderful, organized airline..........

They were only able to get an accurate passenger load after counting all the bodies and the survivors......

There were people sitting in the aisles and sharing seats however....it was confirmed by a few survivors who had been interviewed.

And yes, most of the people were Lebanese....

As you know, there is a very large Lebanese diaspora in West Africa. They migrated to there in the late 1800's and early 1900's because of the many job opportunities rising in West Africa, mostly the mining business.

Regards

[Edited 2004-03-30 00:43:48]


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9973 times:

I just randomly checked 3 of their ex-722's, and they each had the -9 engines.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9972 times:

BA

It was a horrible tragedy and hopefully the last

Where most of the passengers Lebanese or African?



EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9853 times:

Most of the passengers were Lebanese. As you know, there is a very large Lebanese diaspora in West Africa. They migrated to there in the late 1800's and early 1900's because of the many job opportunities rising in West Africa, mostly the mining business.

Union des Transports Africains (UTA) was started sometime in the 90's with a fleet of Antonov's. I believe AN-12s or AN-24s, not sure.

This year, 2 Lebanese-American business men bought this 727 from American Airlines for UTA for use on charter flights.

As I said, they wanted to register this plane in Lebanon and base it out of Beirut, but were denied by the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority because it failed the safety inspection test and the safety procedures the airline does.

So as a result, they registered it in Guinea with their Antonovs.

That's all the history I know of this plane and airline.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineJetPower580 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9661 times:

Your average single axle dumptruck full of gravel weighs about 20,000 lbs to give you an idea of how much weight that is. The 727 is a magnificent powerful bird but that was just too much to ask. Not to mention that if tail heavy the bird would have been evil handling.
She never had a chance.


User currently offlineLVZXV From Gabon, joined Mar 2004, 2041 posts, RR: 36
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9494 times:

156 pax
+ 5 crew
________
161

21 survived

XV




How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
User currently offlineHisham From Lebanon, joined Aug 1999, 701 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9467 times:

The owners/pilots should go to jail. This seems to be criminal negligence not just an accident...

Hisham.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9402 times:

Hisham,

One of the owners was killed in the crash.

The pilot was killed also. The F/O survived though.......or maybe it was the other way around? Either way, you get the point.

But yes, those responsible for this tragedy should definately go to jail.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9329 times:

The owners/pilots should go to jail.

How in the world do you know it's the flight crew's fault? How do you know that the weight and balance data given to the crew before flight wasn't falsified/forged/just plain incorrect? How do you know the working conditions? How do you know the crew themselves? How do you know the OWNERS themselves? Tell us your source, PLEASE!! We are dying to know!!!



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9307 times:

The owners/pilots should go to jail. This seems to be criminal negligence not just an accident

Nooo, nobody has ever givin false/incorrect weight and balance to a flight crew.....never

Unless you can prove that they knowingly used incorrect data or fudged the numbers you have no case.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9254 times:

The flight crew were definately responsible in some way. Having people share seats and sit in the aisle is absurd. These are not qualified crew members if they allowed this.....

It was also reported that the crew accepted having passengers bring on MORE weight than they were allowed by paying around $15 per extra kilogram....



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineLVZXV From Gabon, joined Mar 2004, 2041 posts, RR: 36
Reply 23, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9161 times:

Am I the only one to notice that 156 pax aboard a B722 is nothing unusual? The plane is certified to carry up to 189 pax, and since 3X-GDO belonged to an African charter airline, I don't understand why it would be carrying fewer than 156 seats? Why was the cabin overcrowded? I'm sure even if UTA was strapped for cash, the previous AA configuration must have had around 156 seats.
All indicators point to the excess 20,000lbs being either fuel or cargo or both. Nothing unusual about those pax numbers, unless they were all enormous.

XV




How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9140 times:

No you wheren't LVZXV.

That number didn't seem unusally large to me either.

By comparison the -100's that I used to work with where configured for a max of 110 seats and they where restricted because of some arangement sacrifices made for them to be combi aircraft!

156 for a -200 doesn't seem out of line to me.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
25 BA : The 727 was equipped with around 130 seats. Regards
26 LVZXV : BA: Well excuse me but that is LUXURY!!! Did any other carrier ever fill a 722 with so few seats? There must have been huge gaps in the cabin. Did tho
27 ToBEYwithMEA : They had stools in the back of the aircraft!
28 BA : LVZXV, I don't have much details. Perhaps there were more seats, but they were really old and run down and were removed? Who knows..... toBEYwithMEA s
29 Hisham : I guess you're right, it may not be the airline's fault. But there are a few facts that raise some questions: * There's no way the pilots didn't know
30 Post contains images BA : * The airline was denied registration in Lebanon.... Lebanon has always had tough safety requirements. Since they never were able to get the plane reg
31 Post contains links and images Hisham : So TMA is not chartering aircraft anymore? There are photos in the database of TMA flights operated by other airlines. View Large View MediumPhoto &co
32 BA : Hisham, They are still chartering, but not as much because of financial problems. The chartered flights are used to Europe only. The 707s were flown t
33 ToBEYwithMEA : Why didn't they just huskit the 707's to fly into europe?
34 Horus : ToBEYwithMEA I think its due to the high cost of refitting the engines with the hushkits. It might not be a good financial decision in the long term,
35 SegmentKing : A buddy of mine used to fly 727s for TWA. He told me on takeoff roll you can FEEL your plane and know it was overweight, especially on rotation, as th
36 JBirdAV8r : @SegmentKing: So don't tell me this crew didn't know they were overweight on the takeoff roll. Just like a car, you know how it accelerates if you dri
37 OD720 : According to reports from survivors, the plane failed to take off once and the pilots pushed for a second one which ended in disaster. Also, the survi
38 JBirdAV8r : According to reports from survivors, the plane failed to take off once and the pilots pushed for a second one which ended in disaster. Doesn't mean th
39 OD720 : JBird, I've been following the news closely about the crash. About the co-pilot, it was in the papers but I don't have a URL now. He was hospitalized
40 Post contains links and images Ebos : @Hisham: Air Memphis B707 SU-AVZ is now operating for TMA View Large View MediumPhoto © Sven De Bevere Sven
41 SegmentKing : JV8, Thanks for the comment, but I work with pilots daily (at our own airline). I've also spent some time in flight training, so I understand the fund
42 Hisham : Thanks Sven! Is it a scheduled flight to OST? If so, do you know the schedule? Hisham.
43 Ebos : @ Hisham: MHS is operating at least once a week for TMA. Scheduled service is OST-BEY on saterday, dep. 19.00 local time. Sven
44 Prebennorholm : They say that this particular plane with -9 engines at MTOW would need an 8000 feet RWY. It was less than 7900 feet. 20,000 lbs overload. There cannot
45 ClipperNo1 : ASN.net lists the pax number at 161. Nothing unusual as to me as well. But given the stories and rumors so far stated about UTA, it wouldn't surprise
46 BA : JBirdAV8r, You do realize the pilots are not the only flight crew onboard aircraft, right? There are flight attendants, to say that the flight attenda
47 JBirdAV8r : @SegmentKing: I do see your point. V1 is the maximum speed by which an abort must be initiated (which of course, backs up your accelerate/stop distanc
48 BA : JBirdAV8r, They wanted to make as much money as they could. Even if it meant going over the number of seats the aircraft had. Like I said also, cabin
49 Hisham : BA, Charging for extra weight is a common practice. Most aircraft can handle much more than 20 kgs/pax or whatever the limit is. As long as the extra
50 BA : Hisham, Yes I know this. This almost happened to us once because we got close to the weight limit, we were just under it. This was around 3 years ago.
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