Kalitta freighter crashed ‘due to power failure’

THE Kalitta Air 747-200F, which crashed after departing from El Dorado International Airport (Colombia) on 7 July 2008, lost power after take-off, a new report has concluded.

The freighter was en route to Miami, Florida (US) with a shipment of flowers when a suspected fire broke out. The pilot attempted to return to the airport but crashed near the village of Madrid (Colombia). It hit a house, killing a 50-year-old man and his 13-year-old son. The crew of eight survived.

As the freighter became airborne it struggled to achieve a stable climb. It gained speed but lost height and was flying just 400ft (122m) above the ground.

Investigators are unable to explain the double engine failure and subsequent poor flight performance of the aircraft. They also found “discrepancies” between the aircraft’s maintenance records and manufacturers’ maintenance manuals, which “may have affected the engine performance”.

Weeks before, on 25 May, a separate Kalitta 747-209F overran runway 20 at Brussels Airport (Belgium). The freighter broke in three and came to a complete stop in a field bordering the runway. The four crew members and one passenger were not injured.

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