Date: February 25th, 1999
Type: Dornier-328 turboprop
Registration: -
Operator: Minerva Airlines
Where: GENOA, Italy
Report No.-
Report Date: -
Pages: -

This is not an accident investigation report.

Italian Plane Overshoots Runway

GENOA, Italy - A commuter plane with 31 people aboard overshot the runway today in northern Italy and ended up in the Mediterranean. Officials said at least four people were killed.


Police said two bodies were pulled out of the plane. Two other people, a man and a female flight attendant, died after being taken to the hospital. Police said two others were seriously injured.

Officials said there were 27 passengers and four crew members aboard.

The Minerva airlines Dornier-328 turboprop had departed from Cagliari, Sardinia. The Cristoforo Colombo airport runway is right beside the Mediterranean, and reports said strong winds may have forced the plane off course as it was touching down.

The aircraft belonged to Minerva Airlines, a regional airline which operates some Alitalia routes. Alitalia flight AZ1553 had left Cagliari-Elmas airport (IATA code: CAG; ICAO code: LIEE) in Sardinia at 11:10am.

At 12:35am, the Do 328 touched the 29 runway in Genoa (IATA code: GOA; ICAO code: LIMJ) and quickly ate up the 3025 meters of tarmac, swerved on the left, smashed through a 1.5 meters high wall and plunged in the water. The nose gear had collapsed striking the wall, damaging the nose gear well where water began to enter. The front section of the aircraft flooded and the aircraft came to rest with only the tail emerging from water.

The Do 328 was carrying a crew of four (the pilot, the copilot and an instructor in the flight deck, plus a cabin attendant) and 23 passengers. One exit was forced open and the occupants swam out the aircraft and waited for rescue on the wings. The hostess and two passengers were trapped in the wreckage, while a third passenger died later in hospital. The survivors were taken in hospital with hypothermia.

The emergency services responded rapidly (the airport fire service was on site after 70 seconds) and soon scuba teams of the National Fire Service and Carabinieri (military police) where on site aided by tugs and launches of the National Fire Service, Coast Guard, Port Authority and police forces. In 4 minutes the survivors were taken ashore.

The emergency exit was opened by a 15 years old swimmer, who was seated nearby. He and 7 other boys were flying from Cagliari to Genoa for the Italian Juniores Swimming Championship. Luckily, he had read the emergency instruction concerning emergency exits during the flight and acted quickly when the fuselage was flooding.

The wind was blowing at 18kt at the time of the accident. The airport was closed for about 5 hours. The Do 328 is a twin-turboprop built in Germany by Dornier. It first flew on 6th december 1991 and it carries up to 33 passengers. The Do 328 involved in the accident was marked D-CPRR.

A Magistrate has started a penal inquiry and has already questioned the copilot.

Italy doesn't have an indipendent Air Safety Board and a tecnical inquire will be held by Civilavia, the Italian Aviation Authority, part of the Department of Transport.