The pilot of the charter plane that crashed in Colombia, killing 71 of the 77 people on board, including the bulk of the Chapecoense Brazilian football club, reportedly radioed air traffic controllers prior to the disaster, stating that the plane had run out of fuel.
A leaked audio recording from the flight deck in the moments leading up to the crash reportedly reveals the pilot repeatedly asking for urgent permission to land due to both an electrical failure, and a lack of fuel on board.
The chaotic recording corroborates the account from surviving crew members, who claim to have overheard the pilot state the plane had run out of gas.
The chartered plane slammed into a mountainside some 13 kilometres from the airport at Medellín. Upon impact, the plane did not explode, and minimal fire damage to the wreckage also suggests that the aircraft suffered from a very rare fuel shortage. The cause of any potential fuel shortage is the subject of speculation at the moment, with the likely results being either a leak, or negligence in not loading the plane with the correct amount of fuel prior to take-off.
Just prior to the tape going silent, the pilot of the plane stated that they were flying at an altitude of around 9,000 feet.
According to law and regulation, planes must be loaded with enough extra fuel to carry them at least 30 to 45 minutes beyond their scheduled flight time, in the event of encountering turbulence, or if another airport needs to be sought for landing.
Flight and vessel data suggests that the British-constructed Avro RJ85 jetliner was flying at just under its maximum range of 1,600 nautical miles in making the trip from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Medellín, Colombia.
The investigation into the devastating crash continues.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: LatinContent, STR/Getty.