Severe ice, crew errors cause Cuban plane crash

15:05, December 17, 2010      

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Severe ice conditions and errors by the crew caused the crash of a Cuban aircraft on Nov. 4, the Civil Aeronautics Institute of Cuba (IACC) said Thursday.

The crashing of the ATR 72-212 airliner killed all 61 passengers and seven crew members on board.

The accident was caused by severe ice build-up at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) together with errors made by the crew, a report by the State Inquiry Commission, the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis on the Safety of Civil Aviation as well as representatives of the aircraft manufacturer ATR said after analyzing data collected on the data recorders (black boxes).

The plane reported an emergency at 5:42 p.m.local time (2242 GMT) and then lost contact with air traffic control, crashing shortly thereafter in the central province of Sancti Spiritus.

The accident is considered one of the major air tragedies on the island over the past twenty years.

The ATR 72 is a French-Italian made aircraft powered by two turboprop engines, primarily used for regional flights and short trips. The aircraft has a maximum capacity of 72 passengers and a range of up to 1,650 km.

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