A second 757 crash -- off the Dominican coast

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Date:         07 Feb 96 14:42:36 
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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A second 757 crash occurred late last night.  The following details
are pieced together from various sources.  I've tried to corroborate
as much as possible without filtering the information down to nothing,
and to use what appear to be official sources, but the investigation
of any crash can take years to produce an official crash report.

The charter flight, Alas de Transporte Internacional flight 301, which
was operating at least in part for Hamburg-based Oeger Tours, departed
Puerto Plata International Airport, on the north coast of the Dominican
Republic, in light rain at 1143p EST on Tuesday for a flight to Berlin.
It crashed into shark-infested waters less then ten minutes later,
about 12 miles northeast of the airport.

One report from Germany claims the plane was hit by lightening in very
bad weather conditions at about 7,000 ft. and that both engines were
"destroyed" by the lightening.  This doesn't seem consistent with the
report of just "light rain" and one wonders how so much could be known
when the flight recorders have yet to be recovered and there have not
been any reports of emergency communications from the plane.

According to Dominican officials, the plane carried 176 passengers
(88 going to Berlin and the other 88 continuing (backtracking?!) to
Frankfurt) plus a crew of 13 (11 Turkish and 2 Dominicans).  (Some
reports claimed 177 pax and 12 crew; perhaps one crew member was
deadheading.)  The officials said they doubted any of the 189 people
survived.

Officials of the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami reported empty life rafts
and life jackets amongst a two-mile stretch of wreckage.  Sharks were
observed circling some of the wreckage.  The length of the wreckage
suggests that the plane hit fairly "flat" and may have been trying to
ditch, while the life rafts could indicate that some people tried to
escape.

The aircraft, registration TC-GEN, was owned by Birgenair, based in
Istanbul.  It was a 757-225, equipped with Rolls-Royce RB.211-535E4
engines.  It was the 31st 757 built (SN 22206) and was originally
delivered to Eastern Airlines in February, 1985.  Boeing said that
as of November, it had logged approximately 29,000 hours of service.

The aircraft was leased to Dominican charter operator Alas de Trans-
porte Internacional (also reported as Alas Nacionales or Dominican
Alas).

Oeger Tours, based in Hamburg, said it had chartered half of the seats
on the plane.  Several reports claim Oeger chartered its share of the
flight at the last minute, after a 767 that it had originally chartered
was grounded due to mechanical troubles.  (One report says that flight
actually departed but returned to Puerto Plata after a few minutes.
It's hard to see any relevance to this unless there turns out to have
been some miscalculation due to a last-minute doubling of load.)

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
		|Work	kls@slac.stanford.edu
		|WWW	http://www.chicago.com/~kls/
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills