Four people were killed after an ambulance aircraft crashed upon takeoff from the airport in Río Grande, in the Argentine Province of Tierra del Fuego, Friday afternoon.
The aircraft, belonging to the company Flying America SA was bound for San Fernando, in the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires.
The LearJet 35A, registration LV-BPA, crashed at about 2.36 pm local time inside the premises of the local Naval Air Base, about a thousand meters away from a populated area, leaving a great trail of fire and smoke, according to witnesses.
City firefighters arrived within minutes at the terminal, only to realize that the two pilots, a doctor and a nurse had all perished. The aircraft had taken off Friday morning from Comodoro Rivadavia, in the province of Chubut, to carry a patient to Tierra del Fuego.
The aircraft had been cleared to perform this type of operations from October 19, 2021, to October 19, 2023. Flying America is an accredited charter carrier with a history of over 10 years in the business.
We learned during this afternoon of a tragic and shocking fact for the whole city. A medical plane that was assisting residents of Río Grande had an outcome that resulted in fatalities. I want to highlight the hard work of the Municipal Civil Defense and all the emergency services involved in the operation to control this situation. The People of Río Grande accompany the families of the victims and pray for their eternal rest, Río Grande Mayor Martín Pérez posted on social media.
The LV-BPA was the only Learjet in Flying America's fleet. According to the company's website, the maintenance of the aircraft complies with all national and international standards with periodic inspections that ensure their perfect operation. The company also describes its units as comfortable, safe and very versatile aircraft, which can be configured in less than 30 minutes to carry 19 passengers.