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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Friday 19 September 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia
Operated by:Atlantic Southeast Airlines - ASA
On behalf of:Delta Connection
Registration: N219AS
MSN: 120019
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:12
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW115
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Mantiqueira, SP (   Brazil)
Crash site elevation: 1524 m (5000 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:São José dos Campos Airport, SP (SJK/SBSJ), Brazil
Destination airport:Brasília International Airport, DF (BSB/SBBR), Brazil
The aircraft operated on a delivery flight from the Embraer factory at São José dos Campos Airport. Atlantic Southeast Airlines was taking delivery of the aircraft and the first ferry legs would take the aircraft to Brasília and Manaus.
The flight was cleared by the São José Tower controller to follow the 010 degrees radial to the SJC VOR, and cross the VOR at 5000 feet.
Some time after takeoff São José Tower instructed the flight to climb to FL280 out of 5000 feet and intercept the 352 radial of the SJC VOR. The flight crew failed to follow the instructions. This was not noticed when the crew contacted Brasília ACC.
The airplane continued at 5000 feet until it struck a cloud covered mountain in the Mantiqueira Mountains at an elevation of 5000 feet, 700 feet below the peak.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from Portuguese):
- The pilots did not plan the flight properly, though there was an AIS room with the necessary sources of consultation. Maintaining altitude of 5000 feet for too long a time, subject to the minimum safe altitudes in the are area in the available publications, and the discrepancies found in the flight plan confirm this thesis.
- The pilot did not properly collated the guidelines issued by the tower and remained incompatible altitude with instructions issued by the control.
- There are strong indications that the flight proceeded under instrument flight conditions.
- There was no proper coordination between the ACC BS and TWR SJ regarding the transference and control of the air traffic nor did TWR SJ requested receipt of the messages.

Wrong or misinterpreted ATC instructions
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Flight International 4 October 1986
» ICAO Adrep Summary 5/94 (#45)
» SIPAER final report

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from São José dos Campos Airport, SP to Brasília International Airport, DF as the crow flies is 844 km (527 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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