A Douglas DC-3 retrofitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65AR turboprop engines veered off the runway in San Filipe, central Colombia on Friday (April 8), severely damaging the aircraft but leaving six passengers and the Aliansa Aerolineas Andinas crew uninjured. It remains unclear whether the 79-year-old transport was taking off or landing. Though described as a landing accident in some accounts, video of the accident sequence shows that the flaps were retracted, suggesting the mishap resulted from a rejected takeoff gone wrong, perhaps due to a puncture of the left main tire.
The video footage starts with the aircraft in motion on the runway with the tail up, then shows the tail lower quickly as the crew loses directional control, resulting in a left ground loop. Post-crash photos show the left main tire punctured and damaged and the right main landing gear shorn off. The propellers also exhibit bending, suggesting the engines were producing power on impact.
Colombia’s Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Technical Directorate reported on Friday, “Today, in the afternoon, a DC-3 aircraft with registration HK5016 went off the runway at San Felipe de Guainía airport. The crew and passengers are unharmed.”
According to Colombian news source Semana, an official named Neyder Rentería said, “Initially they tell me it was due to a puncture, but it is not entirely clear what happened.”
In addition to the landing gear and propeller blades, the aircraft suffered extensive damage to the underside of the forward fuselage.