NTSB Identification: DCA90MA019.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39506.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AVIANCA (D.B.A. operation of AVIANCA )
Accident occurred Thursday, January 25, 1990 in COVE NECK, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/10/1993
Aircraft: BOEING 707-321B, registration: HK201
Injuries: 73 Fatal,81 Serious,4 Minor.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

ON 1/25/90 AT APRX 2134 EST, AVIANCA AIRLINES FLT 052 (AVA052), A BOEING 707-321B WITH COLOMBIAN REGISTRATION HK-2016, CRASHED IN A WOODED RESIDENTIAL AREA IN COVE NECK, LONG ISLAND, NY. AVA052 WAS A SCHEDULED INTL PSGR FLT FM BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, TO JOHN F KENNEDY INTL ARPT, NY, WITH AN INTERMEDIATE STOP AT JOSE MARIA CORDOVA ARPT, NEAR MEDELLIN, COLUMBIA. OF THE 158 PERSONS ABOARD, 73 WERE FATALLY INJURED. BECAUSE OF POOR WX CONDS IN THE NORTHEASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FLIGHTCREW WAS PLACED IN HOLDING 3 TIMES BY ATC FOR A TOTAL OF ABOUT 1 HR & 17 MIN. DRG THE 3RD PERIOD OF HOLDING, THE FLIGHTCREW RPRTD THAT THE ACFT COULD NOT HOLD LONGER THAN 5 MIN, THAT IT WAS RUNNING OUT OF FUEL, AND THAT IT COULD NOT REACH ITS ALTERNATE ARPT, BOSTON-LOGAN INTL. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE FLIGHTCREW EXECUTED A MISSED APCH TO JOHN F KENNEDY INTL ARPT. WHILE TRYING TO RTRN TO THE ARPT, THE ACFT EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF POWER TO ALL 4 ENGS & CRASHED APRX 16 MI FROM THE ARPT. (SEE NTSB/AAR-91/04 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION)

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE FAILURE OF THE FLIGHTCREW TO ADEQUATELY MANAGE THE AIRPLANE'S FUEL LOAD, AND THEIR FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE AN EMERGENCY FUEL SITUATION TO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL BEFORE FUEL EXHAUSTION OCCURRED. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FLIGHTCREW'S FAILURE TO USE AN AIRLINE OPERATIONAL CONTROL DISPATCH SYSTEM TO ASSIST THEM DURING THE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT INTO A HIGH-DENSITY AIRPORT IN POOR WEATHER. ALSO CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS INADEQUATE TRAFFIC FLOW MANAGEMENT BY THE FAA AND THE LACK OF STANDARDIZED UNDERSTANDABLE TERMINOLOGY FOR PILOTS AND CONTROLLERS FOR MINIMUM AND EMERGENCY FUEL STATES. THE SAFETY BOARD ALSO DETERMINES THAT WINDSHEAR, CREW FATIGUE AND STRESS WERE FACTORS THAT LED TO THE UNSUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE FIRST APPROACH AND THUS CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT.

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