Accident Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander N589SA, Thursday 2 August 1984
ASN logo

Date:Thursday 2 August 1984
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander
Owner/operator:Vieques Air Link
Registration: N589SA
MSN: 38
Year of manufacture:1968
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-E4C5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:0,8 km off Vieques Airport (VQS) -   Puerto Rico
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Vieques Airport (VQS/TJCG)
Destination airport:Saint Croix-Alexander Hamilton Airport (STX/TISX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Islander was overloaded by 600-700 pounds when it departed Vieques. Also, its centre of gravity was up to 5 inches behind the aft limit. After takeoff the left engine lost power. It lost altitude, banked abruptly to the left, nosed down and crashed into the ocean. It appeared that the fuel had been contaminated with water.

The pilot was not certificated to fly as pilot-in-command of a commuter air carrier flight. The two previous flights flown by the pilot and the accident flight were scheduled flights, operated with a different flight number as "on-demand" flights, for which the pilot was certified.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the pilot to execute the emergency engine-out procedure properly shortly after takeoff following a loss of power in the left engine because of water in the airplane's fuel system and the failure of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority to remove excess water known to be in the airport's in-ground fuel tank before conducting fueling operations. The pilot's failure to execute the engine-out procedure properly was due to his inexperience in multi-engine airplanes.
Contributing to the accident were: (1) the air carrier's use of a pilot not certificated for the flight; (2) the air carrier's failure to train the pilot adequately; (3) the pilot's failure to follow proper practices to detect water in the airplane's fuel tanks; (4) the out
of weight and balance condition of the airplane; (5) the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) incorrect application of 14 CFR Part 135 Rules to commuter air carriers; and (6) the FAA's generally inadequate surveillance of the air carrier."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: NTSB/AAR-85/08
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report




  • 36th worst accident in 1984
  • 16th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 8th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

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