TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed at Sao Paulo

Only 10 month after a GOL 737 crashed in a midair collision, again an airliner crashed in Brazil.
Tuesday night a TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed and burst into flames at Brazil’s busiest airport, Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport, killing at least 200 people.

The plane, Flight JJ3054, coming from Porto Alegre to Sao Paulo, skidded off runway 35L on landing during heavy rain, shot across a busy highway and crashed into several buildings including a gas station. Nobody of the 176 people on board survived, at least 15 were killed on the ground.
Sao Paulo’s airport is notorious for having short, slippery runways. The runway was recently resurfaced, but the cutting of grooves to channel rainwater off the pavement had not been completed.

Pictures: http://www.estadao.com.br/interatividade/Multimidia/ShowFotos.action
Story at CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/07/18/brazil.plane.crash/index.html

Facts
Date: 17 JUL 2007
Time: 18:45
Type: Airbus A320-233
Operator: TAM Linhas Aéreas
Registration: PR-MBK
C/n / msn: 789

First flight: 1998-02-13 00:00:00
Total airframe hrs: 20000.0
Cycles: 9300.0
Engines: 2 IAE V2527-A5
Crew: Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers: Fatalities: 170 / Occupants: 170
Total: Fatalities: 176 / Occupants: 176
Ground casualties: Fatalities: 15
Airplane damage: Written off
Location: São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH)
Phase: Landing
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS (POA/SBPA), Brazil
Destination airport: São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH/SBSP), Brazil
Flightnumber: 3054
TAM Flight 3054 was a regular flight from Porto Alegre (POA) to São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH). The Airbus A.320 departed Porto Alegre at 17:16. It was raining as the flight approached São Paulo. Initial press reports indicate that the pilot executed a go around after attempting to land on runway 35L. A fire department spokesman said that the airplane cleared the perimeter fence and a busy highway. Failing to gain enough height, it collided with a concrete building, bursting into flames.
Runway: Runway 35L is a 6365 x 147 feet (1940 x 45 meters) asphalt runway. TORA ,ASDA, TODA are all 1940 m, LDA 1880m.
Weather around the time of the accident (21:45Z) was reported as: SBSP 172100Z 34008KT 6000 -RA BKN009 OVC070 16/14 Q1018= SBSP 172200Z 35008KT 7000 -RA BKN008 OVC070 15/14 Q1018=
16th loss of a Airbus A320
The worst accident involving a Airbus A320
The worst accident in Brazil

TAM Airlines Safety Record
Founded: 1961
The airline suffered 13 hull-loss accidents.
Last accidents:
17-JUL-2007 - Airbus A.320 - PR-MBK - Fatalities: 176+ 15 - São Paulo-Congonhas
08-AUG-2006 - Fokker 100 - PT-MQN - Fatalities: 0 - São Paulo-Congonhas
30-AUG-2002 - Fokker 100 - PT-MRL - Fatalities: 0 - São Paulo-Viracopos
30-AUG-2002 - Fokker 100 - PT-MQH - Fatalities: 0 - Birigui, SP
15-SEP-2001 - Fokker 100 - PT-MRN - Fatalities: 1 - near Belo Horizonte

Airbus A320 Safety Record
First flight: 1987
Production total: 1527+
Hull-loss Accidents: 10 with a total of 440 fatalities (not including current accident)
Other occurrences (hull-loss): 4 with a total of 0 fatalities
Criminal occurences (hull-loss, excl. hijackings): 1 with a total of 0 fatalities
Hijackings: 4 with a total of 1 fatalities

Airport Profile São Paulo-Congonhas
ICAO/IATA designators: SBSP / CGH
Latitude: 23° 37′ 36.09″ S / 046° 39′ 19.35″ W
Elevation: 2631 ft/ 802 m
Runway: 17R/35L (6365 x 147 feet, asphalt, ILS)
Runway: 17L/35R (4708 x 147 feet, asphalt, no ILS)

- UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE -

An airport security camera video of the landing of flight 3054 has emerged on YouTube!

Accident sequence
TAM Flight 3054 was a regular flight from Porto Alegre (POA) to São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH). The Airbus A320 departed Porto Alegre at 17:16. It was raining as the flight approached São Paulo. Initial video images from the airport suggest that the airplane landed fast on runway 35L. It failed to stop and went off the runway. Since the runway is at a higher elevation than the surrounding street and residential area, the A320 probably became airborne, cleared the perimeter fence and a busy highway and collided with a concrete building, bursting into flames.
According to TAM one of the thrust reversers had been deactivated before departure.

Fatalities
TAM confirmed that one off-duty first officer had boarded the flight at the last moment.
This brought the number of occupants to six crew members, 160 passengers+2 small children and nineteen TAM employees.
All 187 passengers and crew were killed. The number of people killed on the ground has not been established yet.

TAM A320
Normal seating arrangement for TAM A320’s is 168 passenger seats.
The maximum certified number of seats by the U.S. FAA is 179
The landing weight was reported to have been 67.200kgs, which is below the certified maximum landing weight (not taking the actual conditions at Congonhas into consideration).

Statistics by aviation-safety.net

*UPDATE*
TAM Crash - Investigation blames Government and Airline Officials

4 Responses to “TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed at Sao Paulo”


  1. 1 Ginger Jul 20th, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    I hold an airline transport pilots certificate and regularly fly a Boeing 747. “If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going”. The pilots have a nickname for the Air bus. They call it “Satan’s Kitten”. Get hold of Aviation Week and Space Technology and compare and contrast the Boeing vs Airbus design philosophies. Boeing relies on the PILOT. The friggin’ thrust reversers cannot be engaged on the airbus unless the struts are totally compressed, nor can the brakes be applied above a certain speed. As for the Airbus auto-pilot, try a go-around some day on an airbus with your wife and kids aboard. Better yet, doo a google video search of “Airbus Crash”. The Flight limitation restrictions imposed on the Airbus endanger passengers and crew. The damned airbus should never have been certified.`

  2. 2 joe Jul 24th, 2007 at 8:44 am

    The “Boeing” 747 has an accident rate 8 times that of the A320.

  3. 3 Teresa Aug 9th, 2007 at 12:34 am

    hi! i was researching this event because i was trying to have my aunt understand that planes don’t just break into tiny little pieces (ie. flight 93) and she brought up this crash. i haven’t been able to find anywhere that said that the plane burst into tiny little pieces…i have a feeling she made it up in her head. so far i’ve only seen that it burst into flames. can you provide any information as to why she thought this?

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