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article imagePlane crash in Chile marks third C-212 accident this year

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 6, 2011 in World
The CASA C-212 aircraft model that recently crashed in Chile killing 21 people had several accidents before the incident, two of which happened early in 2011, one in Canada and another one in Indonesia.
The CASA (Construcciones Aeronautics S.A.) model C-212 is a STOL (short take-off and landing) turboprop-powered medium transport aircraft designed and built in Spain by Airbus Military for civil and military use. This type of plane is also produced in Indonesia under licence to Indonesian Aerospace.
In 2009 Airbus Military bought Construcciones Aeronautics SA and continued production of the C-212, which is considered a multi-purpose, robust and powerful transport aircraft apt for civil and military uses. Since the early 70s about 470 units have been sold which so far have accumulated four million flight-hours. The CASA C-212 - 300 series has been in production since 1984 and many countries have acquired a variable number of units. The military transport has been purchased among others by Angola, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States of America. The C-212 has also been acquired for civilian applications by many countries including Canada, France, Germany, South Africa and the United States of America.
Accidents in 2011.
Indonesia. On February 12, 2011 a Casa C-212-100 operated by Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter (S.M.A.C, Medan, Indonesia) took off from Batam, Indonesia, with 5 people on board. The airplane had just undergone maintenance in Batam, where an engine was replaced and it was performing a test flight. About 30 minutes into the flight, between the localities of Tanjung Berakit and Malang Rapat, the plane disappeared from radar. All five occupants were killed. The investigation determined that no permission had been obtained to conduct the test flight and that the pilot in command was not qualified for this kind of flight.
Canada. On April 1, 2011, the CASA C-212-CC40, operated by Fugro Aviation Canada (Ottawa) was carrying out aerial survey work north of Saskatoon, SK. At the time the plane was returning to Saskatoon, the right engine lost power. The crew shut down the right engine about 20 kilometres north-east of Saskatoon and commenced an approach to Saskatoon Airport. On final approach, the left engine lost power. The crew managed to crash-land on 51st Street in a residential area of Saskatoon hitting road embankment structures near an Extra Foods store and was destroyed. Two crew members suffered injuries, but survived, while a third person on board died of severe injuries.
Chile. September 2, 2011. A CASA C-212 – 300 of the Chilean Air Force crashed on approach to the airport of the Juan Fernández Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 kilometres off the coast of Chile. Twenty one people on board died; only 4 bodies have been recovered.
In Chile there have been four fatal accidents in which C-212 aircraft have been involved. However, the accident rate cannot be easily compared with that of other aircraft because the C-212 is considered a special plane designed for demanding applications and for use in extreme conditions, particularly in short airport runways.
They are used as freight planes (rear loading ramp), troops transport, parachuting and Coast Guard surveillance at regular airports, but also in remote unpaved airstrips in Africa, in remote mountainous areas or Antarctic regions. The airstrip on the Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile is only 1000 meters long and is subject to strong winds and frequent changes in weather conditions.
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