Football

Plane crash: Pilot reported he was out of fuel

The pilot of a charter plane carrying a Brazilian football team radioed frantically that he was out of fuel minutes before slamming into a hillside near Medellin with 77 people on board, an audio recording showed.

Details of the doomed aircraft's last harrowing minutes emerged on Wednesday as fans mourned the loss of all but six people on the flight, including most of the Chapecoense football team.

An audio tape aired by the Colombian media showed that the pilot of the LAMIA airlines BAe146 radioed the control tower on Monday night seeking priority to land because of a fuel problem.

The operator acknowledged the request but told pilot Miguel Quiroga he will have to wait seven minutes to land.

TOTAL FAILURE

"I have a plane below you making its approach... How much time can you remain in your approach, Lima-Mike-India?" said the operator.

"We have a fuel emergency, ma'am, that's why I am asking you for it at once, full stop," replied the pilot.

Moments later, he added: "I request an immediate descent Lima-Mike-India."

The timeline was not clear but, shortly thereafter, the pilot radioed: "Ma'am, Lima-Mike-India 2933 is in total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel."

The operator responded: "Runway clear and expect rain on the runway Lima-Mike-India 2933. Firefighters alerted."

The pilot is heard asking: "Vectors, ma'am, vectors to the runway."

The operator is heard giving him directions and asking his altitude.

"Nine thousand feet, ma'am. Vectors! Vectors."

Those were Quiroga's last words to the control tower.

Colombia's Civil Aeronautics agency said the time sequence of the tape was "inexact", and had no comment on the content of the tape. - AFP

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