NTSB Identification: DCA95RA013
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 11, 1995 in MARIA LA BAJA, Colombia
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, registration:
Injuries: 52 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On January 11, 1995, at approximately 1942 eastern standard time, a Douglas DC-9-14, Colombian registration HK3839, was destroyed upon impact with terrain near Maria La Baja, Colombia. The 5 crewmembers and 47 passengers were fatally injured. The lone survivor sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated by Intercontinental de Aviacion, S.A., a domestic scheduled carrier. The flight, operating as Intercontinental Flight 256 (ITC256), was on an IFR flight plan from Santafe de Bogota, to Cartagena, Colombia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 121 night flight.

Flight 256 was scheduled to depart at 1230. The operations officer stated that the flight was delayed due to maintenance being performed on the aircraft electrical systems. The aircraft departed the El Dorado International Airport (BOG), Bogota, Colombia, at 1843, for Cartagena, Colombia, on flight that was scheduled to continued on to San Andres, Panama City, Cali, and returning to Bogota. The dispatcher on duty stated that prior to releasing the flight for departure he observed that the pilot in command was seated on the right seat, while the first officer completed the walk-around inspection.

The flight was cleared to Cartagena via the Bogota SID # 2 (Zipaquira departure) via A-301 Barranca Bermeja VOR, W-10 Cartagena, at an assigned altitude of 31,000 feet. According to ATC reports, as the flight approached Cartagena, the aircraft was cleared by Barranquilla center to descent from 19,000 feet, for and assigned altitude of 8,000 feet, and was told to report passing 12,000 feet. The last transmission received from the crew of Intercontinental 256 was recorded at 1934:15.

At 1938, the crew from Aerocorales 209, a Cessna Caravan in cruise flight at 9,000 feet reported "the lights of an airplane in rapid descend," at their two o'clock position. At approximately 1942, while still at 9,000 feet, the crew reported observing a ground explosion at their one o'clock position, for about 10 to 19 seconds, approximately 29 to 30 miles from their position on the airway.

Several eyewitnesses near the village of Flamenco, reported observing the airplane just prior to ground impact. They reported observing lights, sparks, fire, and the left wing navigation light.

The investigation is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Direction Administration de Aeronautica (DAAC) of Colombia. The investigator-in-charge is Captain Carlose Estefan Gomez.

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