American Airlines Flight 965: crash on the mountain


Date 20 December 1995.
Site Buga, Colombia.
Passengers/Crew 155/8
Fatalities (Pax/Crew/Ground) 151/8/0
Aircraft type Boeing 757-223 (Tail number: N651AA)
Route Miami, USA to Cali, Colombia. [1]


On 20th December 1995, American Airlines flight 965, a Boeing 757, was flying from Miami, Florida to Cali, Colombia.

Radar was unable to be used as a monitoring tool by Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Cali, because of attacks by Guerilla in 1992. Radio navigation aids and the airports instrument approach system were used instead. ATC gave the pilots the option of taking the shorter route of approaching runway 19, instead of having to take the longer flight path of turning into runway 01.

The pilots accepted this change in flight path, and upon this decision the pilots cleared the waypoints from their navigation computer. Due to this error the pilots had to use their maps to identify the next waypoint and programme it into the navigation computer. The next waypoint was Rozo, which was identified as ‘R’ on their charts. The pilots programmed this into the navigation computer, however, there were duplicates for ‘R’ in the stored waypoints of the navigation computer.

Romeo near Bogota was the larger city, therefore selected by the navigation computer. With the aircraft flying on the autopilot, this selection caused the aircraft to turn sharply and head towards Bogata and more importantly a mountain. The GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) activated approximately twelve seconds before the crash. The captain and first officer reacted swiftly, but were unable to clear the mountain. This led to the aircraft's CFIT or controlled flight into terrain, into a mountain near Buga, Columbia.

There were 163 people (155 passengers, 8 crew-members) on-board the aircraft, and only four passengers survived. All four survivors were seated on the same row. [1]

Part 1 & 2 of 4

(video embedded from YouTube on 4 October 2010) [3] (video embedded from YouTube on 4 October 2010) [3]

Part 3 & 4 of 4

(video embedded from YouTube on 4 October 2010) [3] (video embedded from YouTube on 4 October 2010) [3]
1. Wikipedia (2010). American Airlines Flight 695. Retrieved from on October 4, 2010.
2. Aviation safety network (2009). Flash airlines flight 604 Accident description. Retrieved from on September 11, 2009.
3. Youtube (2010). FAA965 (lost). Retrieved from Youtube on October 4, 2010.

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