Crash of Faucett Flight 251 Kills 123 in Peru
Faucett Flight 251 was a flight that crashed on February 29, 1996, while on approach to Rodriguez Ballon Airport in Arequipa, Peru.
The airplane was a Boeing 737-222, registration OB-1451, built in 1968. All 123 people on board died in the accident.
The accident was a controlled flight into terrain: the aircraft was flown into the ground while attempting to land. The crew had been issued an outdated barometric altimeter setting after bypassing an ILS signal, causing them to fly 1000 feet lower than the altitude they believed they were flying at. The crew were under the impression that the aircraft was at 9500 feet, when in fact they were flying at 8644 feet. The elevation of Rodriguez Ballon Airport is 8404 feet.
While on a VOR/DME approach to Runway 09, the aircraft crashed into hills in the middle of its flight path at 8015 feet. The aft section broke off on impact, and the main fuselage section continued to fly past the initial ridge and impacted near the top of the second one. The tail section fell into a crevasse between the two ridges.
Contributing factors to the accident were poor visibility due to nighttime (2025 local time) darkness and the heavy fog spread over the mountains at the time of approach.
FAUCETT FLIGHT 251, A BOEING 737-222 CRASHED ABOUT 2015 EASTERN STANDARD TIME, WHILE ON A VOR-DME APPROACH TO RUNWAY 09 AT RODRIGUEZ BALLON AIRPORT, AREQUIPA, PERU. THE FLIGHT HAD DEPARTED LIMA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT 1910. THE AIRPLANE CARRIED 117 PASSENGERS, 2 FLIGHTCREW MEMBERS, AND 4 CABINCREW MEMBERS. ALL WERE FATALLY INJURED.
THERE WAS NO INDICATION OF PROBLEMS FROM THE FLIGHTCREW TO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED NEAR THE TOP OF A RIDGE ABOUT 2 1/2 MILES WEST OF THE APPROACH END OF RUNWAY 09. THE MAIN FUSELAGE CARRIED OVER THE INITIAL RIDGE AND IMPACTED NEAR THE TOP OF A SECOND RIDGE, ABOUT 1/3 MILE TO THE EAST. THE EMPENNAGE FELL TO AN ARROYO BETWEEN THE TWO RIDGES.