Dominican charter carrier loses 757

From:         rna@gsb-crown.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft)
Date:         7 Feb 1996 10:24:46 -0800
Organization: Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
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A 757 belonging to Alas Nacionales, a charter carrier from the
Dominican republic, has crashed into shark-infested waters off of
Puerto Plata last night in "light rainshowers".  There were 189
passengers on board, mainly German, and there are not expected
to be any survivors.  Recovery efforts are underway by the US
coast-guard, but diving efforts are being hampered by large
numbers of sharks.  The bodies of some victims have already
been partially eaten.

This is only the second 757 crash, but unfortunately also the
second within two months.  The aircraft was only at 5000 feet
and 12 miles downrange from Puerto Plata when it unaccountably
descended off of radar screens as it was being transferred to
Puerto Rico air traffic control.

The aircraft was described as being en-route to Frankfurt "via
Berlin Schoenefeld", which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

***

I wonder how long this will take to sort out.  5000 feet is low,
barely off the ground for a 757, given its tremendous climb rate.
The black box has gone into the drink, it sounds, but that hasn't
stopped past recovery efforts.

Does anyone know if Alas Nacionales was leasing the aircraft,
if so from whom?  P&W vs RR engines, that sort of thing?

RNA