Accident Boeing 737-2H6 N125GU, Wednesday 9 August 1995
ASN logo

Date:Wednesday 9 August 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-2H6
Registration: N125GU
MSN: 23849/1453
Year of manufacture:1987
Total airframe hrs:16645 hours
Cycles:20323 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 65 / Occupants: 65
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:24 km NE of San Salvador -   El Salvador
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport (GUA/MGGT)
Destination airport:San Salvador-Comalapa International Airport (SAL/MSLP)
Investigating agency: AAC El Salvador
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight GUG901 (Miami-Guatemala City-San Salvador-Managua-San Jose) encountered bad weather (heavy rain, thunderstorms) while approaching San Salvador. The crew therefore diverted off Airway G346 to avoid the thunderstorms. The aircraft should then have passed overhead the airport and turn right downwind for an ILS approach to runway 07. There seemed to be some confusion as to the position of the aircraft. The aircraft was at 5000 feet (as cleared by ATC) when the GPWS sounded. Full power was applied, but the Boeing struck the San Vicente Volcano (also known as Chinchontepec, 2181 m high) at an altitude of 1800 m.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Direccion General De Transporte Aereo determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flight crew's lack of situational awareness in relation to the 7,159 foot obstruction, the flight crew's decision to descend below the MSA while deviating from a published transition or approach, and the ambiguity of position information between both the flight crew and the air traffic controller which resulted in the controller's issuance of an altitude assignment that did not provide terrain clearance. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the First Officer to direct his concern of reported positions to the Captain in a more direct and assertive manner and the failure of the controller to recognize the aircraft's reported position relative to obstructions and give appropriate instructions/warnings. An ineffective CRM program at Aviateca also contributed to the accident ."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAC El Salvador
Report number: Final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 month
Download report: Final report


Air Safety Week 14 August 1995 (p. 2)
Flight International 23-29 August 1995 (12)


  • 6th worst accident in 1995
  • 23rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 11th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Werner Fischdick; Langkawi Airport (LGK); 29 December 1990

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314