Brazilian soccer team plane crash loss is another "We Are Marshall" tragedy!
I believe the Brazilian soccer team plane crash on November 28, 2016, near Medellín, Columbia tragic loss is an analogous "We Are Marshall" tragedy that happened just outside Huntington, West Virginia on November 14, 1970!
On Monday, November 28, 2016, a small chartered aircraft was carrying the Brazilian soccer team of Chapecoense to play the finals of Copa Sudamericana 2016 in Medellín, Columbia. The finals were suspended indefinitely as result of the crash.
An official 2016 photo below from the Associação Chapecoense de Futebol’s Facebook page shows the entire first-division Brazilian soccer team.
"The team, from the small city of Chapeco, was in the middle of a fairy tale season. It joined Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals – the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League tournament – after defeating Argentina’s San Lorenzo squad," according to local reports.
"The aircraft, which made a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was transporting the first division Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil. The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin."
“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in the Andes mountainous area outside the city where the aircraft crashed.
This AP photo released by the Bolivian Soccer Federation on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 is the last image of LAMIA Flight LMI-2933's BAE 146 Avro RJ85 chartered aircraft, parked as Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on October 4, 2016.
As the small chartered plane flew near the towns of La Ceja and La Unión, in the Andes mountainous stretches around Medellín, authorities late night on Monday, November 28, 2016 said the LAMIA Bolivia Avro RJ-85 chartered plane, registration CP-2933, performing flight LMI-2933, en route from Santa Cruz de La Sierra (Bolivia) to Medellín (Colombia) crashed, carrying 72 passengers and 9 crew on board.
And, most of all, remarkably six survivors (that included 3 soccer players, a flight attendant, a journalist and a passenger) were rescued (including one discovered underneath the fuselage wreckage Tuesday morning in the aftermath from this aviation tragedy.
What Happened to LAMIA Flight LMI-2933?
Aviation authorities said the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a Bolivian charter airline named LAMIA, declared an emergency at 10 p.m. Monday (0300 GMT).
Authorities pointed to reported electrical problems by the flight deck (and perhaps allegedly even engine fuel starvation, an unconfirmed first assessment and judgment I'm making here prior to Colombia's Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) official investigators now commencing with their aircraft forensics and crash site examinations).
It is interesting that no aircraft fire or crash fireball explosion upon impact of the chartered plane into the Andes mountainous remote region was evidenced upon discovery of the crash site and ongoing search and rescue efforts Tuesday morning, November 29. This allegedly points to engine fuel starvation.
This is the last photo taken of the Brazilian soccer team of Chapecoense outside the doomed LAMIA Bolivia BAE 146 Avro RJ-85 chartered plane, registered as CP-2933, performing flight LMI-2933, before departure from Santa Cruz de La Sierra (Bolivia) within just hours to play in the finals of Copa Sudamericana 2016 in Medellín, Columbia.
According to (Bogata, Columbia) Air Traffic Control recordings, the LAMIA flight LMI-2933 flight deck reported about their doomed aircraft predicament: "Señorita LAMIA 933 está en falla total, falla eléctrica total, sin combustible", translated, "Ma'am, LAMIA 933, total failure, total electrical failure, no fuel ... " accounts The Aviation Herald. "The LAMIA crew, told to be number three (3) for the approach, queried about the estimated delay. Shortly thereafter, the flight crew transmitted they were commencing the approach due to problems with the fuel, afterwards declaring Mayday due to electrical failure, and contact was lost."
According to the aviation website: "Colombia's Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) confirmed flight LMI-2933, arriving from Bolivia crashed in the municipality of La Ceja at the slopes of Cerro Gordo. CAA staff, including its director, have been dispatched to Medellin's Rio Negro Airport, and have established a command post to address the situation. The aircraft had requested a priority landing. And subsequently, contact with the aircraft was lost."
"All commercial jets have very redundant electrical system and no partial electrical failure alone can lead to such an accident. I have been looking for data regarding the range of the (LAMIA Bolivia Avro RJ85 aircraft). And, all that I found on the internet seems to show that this aircraft was not suitable for a (1,867 miles or 1,623 nautical miles) 3,005 kilometers flight (performing as LMI-2933, en route from Santa Cruz de La Sierra (Bolivia) to Medellín (Colombia). Maximum Range of the LAMIA Bolivia Avro RJ85 airliner is 1,808 miles (or 1,570 nautical miles or 2,909 kilometers) using standard fuel). Everything converges to a total engine failure due to lack of fuel," says one astute aviation crash forensics enthusiast and commenter on The Aviation Herald.
I agree wholeheartedly. It is not definitively and generally known yet, as of Saturday, December 3, 2016, whether the lack of fuel was because LAMIA LMI-2933 chartered fight operations did not supply enough fuel for the above range conditions for the flight, or whether a supposed fuel leak report from the flight deck was the alleged cause of the crash. This will only be revealed from the British analysis of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder recovered this week.
"In the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 29, 2016, the CCAA reported, that an investigation has been opened into the crash, and data and information are being collected. The head of investigation stated: "No existe evidencia de combustible en la aeronave" (there is no evidence of fuel in the aircraft)."
LAMIA Flight LMI-2933 Black-Boxes Recovered in "Perfect Condition," Shipped to Britain for Analysis
Further information behind this key finding into the exact cause of the crash is expected to be revealed upon closer analysis of Flight LMI-2933's black-boxes recovered later on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 on a remote hillside in La Union, near Medellín, Colombia, as shown below. British air accident investigators will in the coming days conduct the detailed analysis of LAMIA Flight LMI-2933's BAE 146 Avro RJ85 aircraft black-boxes, Columbian and Bolivian government officials have announced.
"Officials of the CCAA did not immediately say how long it would take to analyze the (above flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder) contents," reports AFP, describing the black-boxes found Tuesday afternoon, November 29, 2016 as being in "perfect condition."
On Wednesday, December 1, 2016, Bolivia's Directorate General de Aeronautica Civil (DGCA) (Bolivia's Civil Aviation Authority) announced, that the Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) of LAMIA Bolivia has been suspended immediately.
As Bolivia's Ministry of Public Services expressed their condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of LAMIA Flight LMI-2933's 76 victims, the Bolivian Ministry announced:
(1) the AOC of Lamia was suspended.
(2) an investigation has been opened into the circumstances of how LAMIA air carrier, operating Flight LMI-2933, received their AOC.
(3) a specific investigation has been opened into the financial capital structure of LAMIA air carrier.
(4) all executive staff of DGAC (Bolivia's Civil Aviation Authority) and AASANA ( Administración de Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxliares a la Navegación Aérea, translated as Administration of Airports and Air Navigation Services) have been changed during the investigation.
(5) an internal investigation will be conducted into AASANA related to all events concerning administrative and operational permits associated with the LAMIA air carrier.
(6) additional coordination will be established with the Transparency Unit of the Bolivian Ministry of Public Services, the senate and the house regarding the accident.
The Bolivian Ministry of Public Services is conducting an investigation into the details of the tragic LAMIA Flight LMI-2933 crash on Monday, November 28, 2016, and the Bolivian government will take all appropriate actions, once the CCAA investigation has determined all circumstances surrounding the crash and those responsible with the operational and technical aspects of the LAMIA air carrier.
According to Columbian National Police, one of the 6 survivors - a Brazilian soccer goali of Chapecoense - died in a La Ceja hospital. No further survivors have been rescued, as Columbian Air Force searchers working into Tuesday morning have determined all other 76 occupants inside the chartered aircraft lost their lives in the crash.
Columbian Air Force Rescue workers place doomed LAMIA flight LM-2933 crash victims' remains into a waiting helicopter, in La Union, near Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, November 29, 2016. The chartered aircraft was carrying a Brazilian soccer team to the biggest match of its history, when it crashed as a result of engine fuel starvation into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces, Colombian officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
We Are Brasil!
The Brazilian Football Team tragic loss of life, team player's dreams, and their emotionally personal stories from grieving families, friends and loved ones reminds us all of the shocking aftermath of the November 14, 1970 Southern Airways Flight 932 Douglas DC-9 airliner crash. That doomed airliner carried 71 passengers and 4 crew, killing 37 football athletes of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, including The Herds' 6 coaches, 2 athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 Thundering Herd boosters, and a crew of four, which was sorrowfully depicted in the critically-acclaimed movie "We Are Marshall!"
The team was returning home after a 17–14 loss to the East Carolina Pirates at Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina on November 14, 1970.
"At the time, Marshall's athletic teams rarely traveled by plane, since most away games were within easy driving distance of the campus. The team originally planned to cancel the flight, but changed plans and chartered the Southern Airways DC-9.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the November 14, 1970 Southern Airways Flight 932 Douglas DC-9 airliner accident inside their final report issued on April 14, 1972. NTSB concluded that the probable cause was that "...the accident was the result of a descent below Minimum Descent Altitude during a nonprecision approach under adverse operating conditions, without visual contact with the runway environment...". The NTSB further stated, "The Board has not been able to determine the reason for the (greater) descent, although the two most likely explanations are (a) an improper use of cockpit instrumentation data, or (b) an altimetry system error." At least one source says that water that had seeped into the plane's altimeter could have thrown off its height readings, leading the pilots — who had never before flown into (then metropolitan Huntington, West Virginia's) Tri-State Airport — to believe the plane was higher than was actually the case.
The NTSB on April 14, 1972 made three aviation safety recommendations used today inside all modern digital glass cockpit commercial passenger airliners, as a result of the November 14, 1970 Southern Airways Flight 932 Douglas DC-9 airliner accident, including recommendations for heads-up displays, ground proximity warning devices, and surveillance and inspection of flight operations.
The November 14, 1970 Southern Airways Flight 932 Douglas DC-9 airliner accident is "the deadliest tragedy affecting any sports team in U.S. history," according to Wikipedia's account of the 1970 Southern Airways Flight 932 Douglas DC-9 airliner crash.
Among the emotionally wrenching losses in that 1970 tragic crash were nearly the entire Marshall University football team, coaches, flight crew, numerous fans, and supporters -- much like the Medellín, Columbia small chartered aircraft crash, which was carrying 72 passengers and 9 crew members (including the entire Brazilian soccer team of Chapecoense), according to a statement issued by the Medellín airport.
Likewise as that November 14, 1970 Marshall Thundering Herd football team late night Southern Airways Flight 932 crash site search and rescue efforts resulted in no survivors among its 71 passengers and 4 crew, the November 28, 2016 Brazilian soccer team late night LAMIA Bolivia flight LMI-2933 crash site search and rescue efforts resulted in only 5 survivors among its 72 passengers and 9 crew.
As fog set in rapidly Monday night, Columbian Air Force search and rescue were hampered by low visibility and difficulty in reaching the Andes mountainous site.
Brazilians awaken Tuesday morning, November 29, 2016 to reports about their beloved soccer team crash, expressed similar anguish, as the families, friends and loved ones of Southern Airways Flight 932 and the November 14, 1970 Marshall University Football Thundering Herd.
Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Twitter that there would be a three-day mourning period.
“Before boarding, they said they were seeking to turn their dream into reality,” Plínio David de Nes Filho, chairman of the board overseeing the Chapecoense club, told reporters. “This morning (Tuesday), that dream is over.”
The mayor of Chapecó, the city of 210,000 in southern Brazil, where the club is based, said he and other officials narrowly missed being on the plane.
Back in Huntington, West Virginia and Greenville, North Carolina on November 14, 1970, an assistant coach and several players (including one footballer who had overslept past making the flight, as dramatically depicted in the movie "We Are Marshall") of the 1970 Marshall Thundering Herd barely missed their Southern Airways Flight 932 and were left behind to bare the loss of their entire football team.
Pride in the Brazilian soccer club had swelled in Chapecó, a relatively prosperous city with an economy that relies on large food processing operations.
“We were supposed to be on that flight,” said the mayor, Luciano Buligon, adding that he and others had opted instead to take a commercial flight.
"For American readers, though, what happened today is positioned to be hauntingly similar in scale and cultural impact to the plane crash of the Marshall University football team in 1970. That accident is considered the deadliest tragedy affecting a sports team in American history," reports Forbes.
"Players and coaches from Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer club were on board a charter jet when it crashed near Medellín, Colombia. Here are seven other plane crashes that have taken the lives of athletes and coaches," via The Washington Post.
Particulars of the LAMIA Bolivia Avro RJ-85, chartered aircraft, registration CP-2933, performing flight LMI-2933, en route from Santa Cruz de La Sierra (Bolivia) to Medellin (Colombia) plane crash late night on Monday, November 28, 2016, carrying 72 passengers and 9 crew on board.
(via, Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94)
Crew: two pilots
Capacity: 82–112 passengers
Length: 93 ft 10 in (28.60 m)
Wingspan: 86 ft 0 in (26.21 m)
Height: 28 ft 2 in (8.59 m)
Wing area: 832.0 ft² (77.30 m²)
Empty weight: 52,684 lb (23,897 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 93,000 lb (42,184 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × Textron Lycoming ALF 502R-5 turbofans, 6,970 lbf (31.0 kN) each
Cruise speed: 498 mph (432 knots, 801 km/h) at 29,000 ft (8,840 m) (high speed cruise)
Range: 1,808 mi (1,570 nmi, 2,909 km) (Standard fuel)
Service ceiling: 9,500 m (31,000 ft)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor and chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He is formerly professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University's engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.
McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management's 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education's 2003 Directors' Consortium (on corporate board governance).
McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities' (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow - educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.
Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy - Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).
Partnership Possibilities for America - Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.