ASN Aircraft accident North American Rockwell Sabreliner 40 N85 Recife, PE
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 14 January 1976
Type:Silhouette image of generic SBR1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American Rockwell Sabreliner 40
Operator:Federal Aviation Administration - FAA
Registration: N85
MSN: 282-97
First flight: 1969
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:117 km (73.1 mls) SE off Recife, PE (   Brazil)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Georgetown-Wideawake Field (ASI/FHAW), St. Helena
Destination airport:Recife-Guararapes International Airport, PE (REC/SBRF), Brazil
Ditched off Recife following fuel shortage. The Sabreliner was on a flight from Frankfurt to Oklahoma City with intermediate stops at Ascencion in the Atlantic Ocean and Recife, Brazil.

The pilots had planned their flight using weather data from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, USA, when they could and should have used information from the Recife Forecast Center, which has extensive experience in the area of the South Atlantic Ocean. They introduced a correction in the Doppler Navigation System, diverting the aircraft to the left of the route. The flight ran out of fuel when 117 km from Recife.
A ditching was carried out. Two of the three crew were rescued.

Probable Cause:

pilot-made navigational error
miscellaneous acts,conditions - fuel exhaustion
pilot in command - inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning
complete power loss - complete engine failure/flameout-2 engines

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CENIPA Brazil
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Aircraft strayed off planned course
Fuel exhaustion



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Georgetown-Wideawake Field to Recife-Guararapes International Airport, PE as the crow flies is 2250 km (1407 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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