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DHL Boeing 757 Crashes at San Jose, Costa Rica

A DHL Boeing 757-200F freighter crashed at San Jose, Costa Rica. The aircraft a 22 year old Boeing 757-200 with registration HP-2010DAE departed San Jose, Costa Rica bound for Guatemala City, Guatemala... ( More...

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CK N 20
Runway 7 in MROC has the ILS and 25 is a circle to land with a displaced threshold (for our operation, we're not approved for the RNAV). Runway 7 is just more a more straight forward approach, with VASI, and longer. Easier especially under the stress of that particular abnormal.

Hats off to that crew for sure, but time for my soapbox.

My (US 121 pax) outfit routinely dispatches us to single runway, mountainous terrain, Latin and South American destinations without a dispatch alternate because that fuel regulation is based solely on weather reports and forecasts. The damn TAF.
You can't forecast a runway closure for an accident or incident. Heck, this could have been a Cessna 210 with a gear up, and the result is the same.

A bunch of big planes getting stacked in the hold, with no ability to get an accurate EFC, without alternate fuel because the TAF was good. I have to assume this dispatch practice is universal amongst the US big 4, UPS, Fedex and all the lcc'S. How the heck the POI's approve this and sleep at night is beyond me.

Just last week I was number four in a stack of eight outside a single runway South American airport because an old cargo 72 tossed the number three engine after v1, closing the airport until the crew did a great job, landed overweight, and still cleared the runway at Bravo to the ramp and no one had to divert.

In the MROC case in the article, I bet everybody bailed to Liberia clogging up that approach controllers airspace, while in our case in last week, everyone in the stack was planning on bailing out to Barranquilla which is five feet away, or Medellin or Panama which definitely requires a bunch of fuel.

My irrational proposal is for once the FAA write a regulation in ink, rather than blood, using common sense requiring all international flights to single runway airports to require an alternate.

Yes, I used the words 'common sense" and "FAA" in the same sentence so I might as well hold my breath while waiting for Santa and the Easter Bunny to cost an airline $92 dollars in the weight of a little extra fuel.

Fortunately for me, I have no issues contacting my dispatcher and using my best CR Emmy voice to tell them how much fuel I'm adding. Sometimes, if they get butt hurt I'll get a Chief Pilot call and then have to file an ASAP but big deal. I just hope they don't make me drive to HQ and go Will Smith on their @ss.
Ric Wernicke 7
Nothing like a pilot who flies the airplane, and is funny.
Jeff Steiner 3
Thank you. Your first sentence answers my question about the downwind landing!
dkenna 2
Sounds like an Envoy operation!!
sharon bias 16
Good work by the crew. Good work by the firefighters. Good outcome, well, except for one less aircraft.
Torsten Hoff 3
They fortunately seem to have come to rest right in front of the fire rescue service facility:,+Costa+Rica/@9.99453046,-84.20175886,911.07956776a,983.34247232d,35y,0h,0t,0r/
There probably wasn't anybody home at the ARFFS, because most, if not all, of the units were on the apron side of the airfield, which is on the other side of RWY 07/25, waiting for this plane to come in.
I agree with you.
Charles Baker 8
Been 20+ plus years, but I remember something about loss of left hydraulics = no nose gear steering and no left reverser = loss of directional control on roll out. This was a favorite scenario on orals and the sim. I think UPS pulled this accident many years ago.
Dan Boss 7
Blancolirio did a video on this. He is a 777 driver and also flew 757's so knows the plane intimately. He shows which hydraulic system was inop, by noting which of the 12 spoiler panels did not deploy. Appears the Left hydraulic system was inop.

The plane had no nosewheel steering, nor any left engine reverse thrust. Steering below 80 knots was only via differential braking. It appears they tried to turn off a high speed taxiway, which is 2800 feet before the end of the runway - and misjudged or the attempted turn went bad.

Also taking this runway, was with a 9 knot tailwind. And the vref was high because you can only use 20 deg flaps with these failures. So they were fast regards ground speed, but the attempted turn off 2800 feet before end of runway is the problem.

And this very plane had hydraulic problems back in Feb too.
mbrews 2
Dan I agree with most of your writeup, except "... they tried to turn off a high speed taxiway.."

S. Hrdacky's avherald site shows pictures of skidmarks before and after the point of reported "turnoff". Skidmarks indicate that Left and Right main gear brakes were completely locked up.

It had lost left side hydraulic system, so the plane had lost nosewheel steering. Then it lost directional control by rudder, when ground speed went below 80 knots. So I wouldn't call it a turn ; more like skidding forces and wind dynamics caused the abrupt turnoff. just my two cents.
Dan Boss 3
Well you can still steer via differential braking... But as Juan indicates in his video, it is puzzling why anti lock did not prevent skidding - anti lock should still have been operational.

I noticed in the original video that the left engine appeared way above idle as plane whips around to the right - which also makes no sense as you cannot deploy the spoilers unless both engines are at idle....

Perhaps with left reverser inop - pilots pulled both reverse levers and that put both engines at some percent power above idle, but with no reverse actuation on the left engine, it produced forward thrust while right had reverse thrust - which would make it turn hard right as we see.
HaraMaderich 6
The aircraft registered HP-2010DAE is (or was) a 22.3-year-old Boeing 757-200 freighter operated by Panamanian firm DHL Aero Expreso. The aircraft, originally built as a passenger jet, first began its service life with Taiwanese firm Far Eastern Air Transport in 1999. In 2010, the jet was transferred to American firm Aerolease and converted into a freighter in October of the same year. Since November 2010, the aircraft has been flying with DHL Aero Expreso. In the lead-up to the incident, the jet had been flying fairly frequently, ferrying cargo between cities such as San Jose, Mexico City, Guatemala City and several other Latin American cities. The jet had also operated several flights to Miami in recent weeks.

Operating on a lease, notes that the legal owner of the jet is a firm by the name of Altavair. Altavair owns a fleet of over 100 aircraft which is a diverse mix of widebodies and narrowbodies from Airbus and Boeing, both passenger and freighter variants.
Kevin Barbee 9
Glad there were no injuries. Probably not a good idea having a large drop-off next to the runway...Just truck in some fill dirt.
Ric Wernicke 5
The ditch is there for a reason. It is a rainy place, and the gully carries the water away from the runway.
blueashflyer 1
gotta hold that center line! serious drop off to either side - youch!
Easy for you to say, blueash. When I was a young FO, we landed a Metroliner with the right side gear retracted. The captain kept it on the runway, but barely. I hated that old bitch from day one and most especially after that event. It was hateful to fly when everything was working.
HaraMaderich 2
Here is the video
Jack Rudy 2
ay be wrong, but looks like they locked up the brakes blew tires and lost directional control, exiting the runway. With a near 10k runway, they likely could have firmly landed, used idle reverse and minimal brakes, assisted by aero braking and drifted to a taxi speed by the end of the runway, even with 20 flap landing speeds. In too much of a rush to stop? Have not flown the 757 for over a decade, but as I recall, the anti-skid still will work on standby brakes. Wondering if they lost all L hyd fluid and the PTU? If so then no nose wheel steering, auto speed brake and requiring alternate landing gear extension and slow electric flap lowering, making for a heavy workload. They did the right thing holding, getting weight down and making time to take care of the non-urgent problems before the approach.
Chris B 2
Not seeing any thrust reverser deployment.
Left side view. Hydraulics control reversers. Reported hydraulic problem LH gear. Possible LH hydraulics out so no reverser LH side. If using only RH reverser, may have been difficult to avoid RH yaw as rudder became less effective at lower speeds.
James Cross 1
You can hear the thrust increase, I wonder if they only increased thrust on the #2 engine or if #1 was also increased but without the reversers open.
In the still picture, with the firemen holding their hoses, with the cockpit in the air---does anyone else see one of the cockpit windows sealed all around it with red "tuck tape" ??? Were they flying it like that?? Doesn't seem like anyone would have had the time to cover the window with plastic and seal it with red "tuck tape"--so soon after the incident as the firemen are still attending the aircraft. Strange indeed.... Thanks.
Roger Curtiss 3
It's 'duct tape' not 'tuck tape'.
Is it possible the crew used that window to exit the aircraft and FD taped it later to avoid spraying form into the cockpit?
the "red" color appears to be the red tape used in building. It's actually called "Tuck Tape" With the F.D. there it appears as if the time frame is shortly after incident. But you may be right as well. Thankx.
Roger Curtiss 1
...and thank you for the tape clarification.
No Problem.. Mr. Curtiss. Take care!
mattbna 2
Search Google Images for 'DHL 757' and you'll find that most of the 757's painted in their livery around the world have a red outline around those windows up front. That's not something that happened at this incident scene - it was already there.
Ben v Veen 2
On 2 april 22:00 at HATO airfield. A DHL cargo. Also hydraulic failure. Made an emergency landing where the right tires collapsed (no left breaks). Wondering....
Edward Bardes 2
If only Boeing hadn't stopped making the 757.
Reference; comment about the downwind landing, there is only one direction to land at San Jose, over the mountain and down the valley west to east.
I guess there is max wind limit, maybe one of the guys that sits up front and answer.
Downwind landing? Watch the dust. Why?
Jeff Steiner 1
I read your comment before I clicked through to the article and watched the video, and I'm perplexed about that point, too.

From the various photos and the FB live video from @HaraMaderich, I couldn't figure out how the nose gear survived, but the video also made that clear!

Here's a link directly to the video on YouTube (and you can mutter along with me at the inability of this comment board to give us clickable links! I just highlight the link, then right click and choose "Open..."
21voyageur 1
Indeed. A bad corporate decision that I am certain they regret to this day. Poor corporate decision-making. And the ()*()s that made that decision are most likely still at Boeing. Shame on the Board of Directors who let greed trump good business acumen. Sad example of an American focus on $$$$$$s. All of course IMHO.
Joe Keifer -4
My favorite aircraft and, apparenly, Donald Trump's too.
21voyageur -5
Well, let us not forget that Trump bought "Trump force 1" as a well used 20 year old 757 originally commercial aircraft that came into the hands of someone that was in fact far richer than he.
Gary Bain 0
21voyageur 1
James T 0

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Lee Withers 11
After 23 years you are probably talking maintenance, not manufacturing.
mbrews 1
Well put, Lee. While reviewing records, I saw an accident report on a B 757 freighter in Australia . That bird had lost Left AND Right hydraulic systems and managed to land it safely. Root cause was broken hydraulic hose at nose gear. Carrier later changed to put hoses on a shorter preventative replacement schedule….


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