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Aircraft Disappearance
Minutes before landing, a plane simply disappears
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Lost in the Peruvian Jungle: January 9, 2003

The aircraft involved - TANS (Transportes Aereos Nacionales de Selva) flight 222. The aircraft was a twin engine Fokker 28 Turbojet.

Where did the accident occur? - The side of an 11,000 foot mountain, just miles away from the Chachapoyas Airport where the airplane was expected to land. At the time that the plane disappeared it was not raining, but low-lying clouds hung over the mountains close to the airport.

What happened? - After disappearing on January 9th, the wreckage of the aircraft was found on the side of a mountain close to the airport on Saturday the 11th. Poor weather conditions hampered efforts to locate the aircraft. 46 people die including 42 passengers and 4 crew members. Six foreigners were on board - 2 Belgians, 1 Cuban, 2 Dutch and 1 Spaniard. It is believed that the aircraft exploded on impact, making survival of the crash impossible.

Who was at fault?

  • On Monday, January 13th, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo blames the crash on pilot error.
  • The aircraft's two flight data recorders have been sent to Washington D.C. for further examination.
  • It is possible that the pilot accidentally flew into the cloud-covered mountain.
  • It is also possible that sudden downward-pushing gusts of winds (also known as wind shear) may have caused a fatal loss of altitude.
  • The argument also exists that a landing should not have been attempted, and that the weather conditions were exacerbated by the fact that the airport did not have radar which may have helped the plane land safely.
What is being done in the aftermath of the crash? The Peruvian government is expected to investigate the state of civil aviation in Peru.

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