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Wed, Aug 27, 2003

Haitian Airliner Too Heavy: Report

The AP is reporting that one of its reporters was told by "a senior manager at the Cap-Haitien airport" in Haiti that the L-410 that crashed just after takeoff Monday was too heavy. All 21 aboard, including the two crew, were killed. The AP says that the 'liner shouldn't have had all the seats filled. [Without knowing the weight of the rest of the cargo, and the fuel load, it's hard to say --ed.]

The short hop, planned from Cap-Haitien to Port-de-Paix, a 15-minute trip, did have every seat filled. The quantity of fuel aboard was not immediately known; but the AP said this trip's PAX were likely, "loaded with gifts for family."

Witnesses say that, shortly after takeoff, a rear door was seen open, and smoke (and some baggage) was pouring out. The crash begat a fire that consumed most of the wreck.

Tropical Airways, which owns the plane, said that both Walter 601 engines had been replaced three weeks ago; whether the engines were replaced with used, rebuilt, or new units was not explained. Whether the engines were any factor in the crash has not been determined, either. The airline's PR firm also said there was no data recorder aboard...

Haiti's National Office of Civil Aviation is investigating the crash.

FMI: www.tropical-haiti.com/english/

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