Avianca Flight 52 was a regularly scheduled flight from Bogotá, Colombia, to New York City, United States, with a stopover in Medellín, Colombia. On January 25, 1990, the Boeing 707 aircraft carrying 149 passengers and crew crashed in the town of Cove Neck, New York, killing 73 people on board.
The disaster was caused by a combination of factors, including poor communication between the flight crew and air traffic control, a delay in receiving clearance to land due to heavy air traffic, and fuel exhaustion caused by several attempts to circle the airport while waiting for clearance.
The flight crew had also failed to properly manage fuel consumption and reserve and did not declare an emergency in a timely manner. The investigation also revealed deficiencies in crew resource management and decision-making processes, as well as inadequate training on dealing with emergency situations.
The tragedy led to changes in aviation regulations and procedures, including the implementation of mandatory crew resource management training and stricter requirements for fuel planning and management.
Aircraft dispatch fuel planning involves determining the amount of fuel needed for a flight, taking into account various factors such as the distance to be covered, weather conditions, aircraft weight, and route. The goal is to ensure that the aircraft has enough fuel to complete the flight safely and efficiently, while also minimizing fuel costs.
Fuel management in flight involves monitoring the fuel consumption and ensuring that the aircraft has enough fuel to reach its destination and any alternate airports, if needed. Pilots must also make adjustments to the flight plan as needed based on actual weather conditions, wind speed, and other factors that may affect fuel consumption.
Efficient fuel planning and management are crucial for safe and economical flights, as fuel is one of the largest operating expenses for airlines.