Sixteen Die in Two L-410 Crashes

 - February 16, 2011, 10:04 AM

Two separate crashes involving Let L-410 regional turboprops claimed a total of 16 victims on Monday. 

The first involved a scheduled flight operated by Honduran regional airline Central American Airways between the northwest city of San Pedro Sula and the capital, Tegucigalpa. All 14 people on board died after the unpressurized twin turboprop struck trees in the town of Las Mesitas while on approach to the 7,096-foot runway at Tegucigalpa Toncontin International Airport around 8 a.m. local time.

Witnesses reported fog in the area at the time of the crash. The victims included a Honduran government official and a union leader, two U.S. citizens and a Canadian. The pilot, who survived the initial impact, died on his way to the hospital.

On the same day, an African Air Services Let L-410 flying cargo on behalf of the World Food Program from Lusenge to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo crashed into a hill while on approach to Bukavu Kavumu Airport, according to local press reports. Both crewmembers died in the crash.