ATR-72 belonging to Air Dolomiti

(Picture insert shows an ATR-72 belonging to Air Dolomiti similar to the AeroCaribean flight 883 that crashed Thursday evening in Cuba killing all 68 on board)

Difficult times for general aviation. An ATR-72 belonging to AeroCaribean crashed late Thursday in Cuba killing all 68 passengers on board.AP reported that flight  883 is a twice weekly Port-au-Prince (Haiti)-Santiago-de-Cuba-Havana that had left Santiago-de-Cuba and was expected in Havana at 7:50 pm. The report indicates that the pilot’s last radio contact at 5:42 pm was declaring an emergency but no subsequent message was issued by the crew. the plane did crash  in a rural area 350 kilometers east of Havana and Cuban Civil Aviation officially confirmed the tragic death of 7 crew and 61 passengers including 28 foreigners.

The ATR-72 is built by the Franco-Italian plane manufacturer Avion de Transport Regional. The ATR-72 is a twin-turboprop regional short haul airliner with an existing cargo variant.The passenger version carries up to 78 passengers, but the -72 is derived from the similar looking shorter ATR-42 which can carry up to 50 passengers.AeroCaribean operated 5 ATR-72s, out of a total production list of around 950 delivered (including -42).

This is the deadliest crash involving an ATR-72 since the  crash of an American Eagle Airlines ATR-72 in Roselawn, Indiana on October 31st,1994.It is believed that the American Eagle Airlines plane became uncontrollable after ice built-up on the wings and crashed in a field also killing all 68 on board.

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