Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela Flight 108


Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela Flight 108
152ay - Aeropostal DC-9-34F (CF); YV-37C@PMV;10.10.2001 (8232561272).jpg
An Aeropostal McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 similar to the one involved.
DateMarch 5, 1991
SummaryPilot error
Sitenear La Valesa, Venezuela
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
OperatorAeropostal Alas de Venezuela
Flight originLa Chinita International Airport, Maracaibo, Venezuela
DestinationSanta Barbara Ed-L Delicias Airport, Venezuela

Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela Flight 108 was a short-haul flight from La Chinita International Airport in Maracaibo, Venezuela to Santa Barbara Ed-L Delicias Airport that crashed on March 5, 1991.


The aircraft used on Flight 108 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, which by 1991 had been in service with Aeropostal for 24 years; the airline had bought the plane from McDonnell Douglas in 1967.[1][2]

The "Guillotine of Los Andes"

The Páramo "Los Torres" is known among Venezuelan pilots as The Guillotine of Los Andes. Prior to Flight 108, two other commercial aircraft had crashed. On December 15, 1950, an Avensa Douglas DC-3 flying from Mérida to Caracas crashed, killing all 28 passengers and 3 crew. Ten years later, on December 15, 1960, a Ransa flight crashed, killing all of its passengers.[3]


Flight 108 took off from La Chinita International Airport with 45 passengers and crew. Several minutes later, the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 crashed on the side of a foggy mountain near La Valesa in the La Aguada sector of the Páramo Los Torres and burst into flames. All 45 people on board died.[1]


A investigation into the accident found that the cause of the crash was pilot error. The pilots inadvertently entered the wrong radial into their navigation system and went off course. Because of fog in the area, the pilots did not know they were on a collision course with the mountain.[4][5]

In popular culture

On February 23, 2008, Globovisón briefly mentioned the accident while covering a report on Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518.[6]

Similarities with Santa Barbara Airlines Flight 518

On February 21, 2008, Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518, an ATR 42, crashed into the "Los Conejos" moor, several minutes after taking off from Alberto Carnevalli Airport in Mérida. 43 passengers and three crew members were killed in the accident. The remains of the aircraft were found the following day in a mountain range approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Mérida at an altitude of 12,000 feet (3,700 m). No survivors were found. After the accident, the company started a new public relations program and rebranded SBA Airlines. Like Flight 108, Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 did not have accurate information of the route it was flying.[7]


  1. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 YV-23C Valera". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  2. ^ "YV-23C Linea Aeropostal Venezolana (LAV) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30". Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  3. ^ Zabala, Ángel Mendoza (2016-03-05). ""Cadena de errores 'tumbó' el avión de Aeropostal": experto aeronáutico" ["Chain of errors 'knocked down' the Aeropostal plane": aeronautical expert]. (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  4. ^ Bravo, Luis (2016-03-05). "Hace 25 años se estrelló vuelo 108 de Aeropostal en páramo Los Torres (fotos)" [25 years ago Aeropostal flight 108 crashed in Los Torres páramo (photos)]. (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  5. ^ "Crash of a Douglas DC-9-32 on Mt La Aguada: 45 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  6. ^ "Accidentes Aéreos: Resumen de Accidentes Aéreos en Venezuela" [Air Accidents: Summary of Air Accidents in Venezuela]. (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  7. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident ATR 42-300 YV1449 Mérida-A Carnevalli Airport (MRD)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2021-03-28.

External links