- Eduardo Costa Bonato
What really happened to the airplane carrying Marilia Mendonça?
Updated: Mar 13, 2022
Friday, 5th of November 2021. The airplane carrying Marilia Mendonça and other 4 passengers (including her uncle and the two pilots) fell in a waterfall in Minas Gerais. She left her home city to make a show in Ubaporanga, Minas Gerais, but her airplane crashed in a waterfall, killing everyone inside it. The aircraft itself was a King air C90a made in 1980, and, though seeming to be quite old, it was in good condition (according to ANAC) and was licensed to fly short distances. Beyond that, the captain and co-captain were experienced with this type of aircraft. So, with these factors, the chances of an accident to happen was almost minimum. The question that might be coming to your mind, then, is what happened to the airplane? That's exactly what I'm going to write about.
The King air C90a is a luxurious aircraft used for regional flights, it has capacity for 6 passengers and is very popular throughout the world.
The interior of the aircraft, with four seats for passengers and the cockpit with space for two pilots. It's important to note that the aircraft was in its max passenger capacity.
What happened to the aircraft?
The King air C90a doesn't have a flight recorder (being small and not used for commercial flights, the airplane is not considered to have to include a flight recorder by the company that fabricates it). So, as the flight recorder is an equipment that records everything that happens inside the cockpit and every communication between the captain, the co captain and the tower. By not having this we can't hear the last words of the pilot or know what was happening in the cockpit at the time of the accident. All that we know is that the aircraft had issues during the landing procedure and crashed into the waterfall.
On November 5th, 2021, the aircraft crashed into a waterfall after a severe support issue which resulted in the crash of the King Air C90a a few kilometers away from the runway. A few moments after the crash CEMIG (the electric company of Minas Gerais) registered that one of the high tension cables close to the airport had been hit by an airplane. Everyone inside the King Air sadly didn't survive the crash. Investigations were necessary for the authorities to understand how everyone died even though the aircraft had been damaged similarly to its damage in an emergency landing.
The reason is hidden in the speed that the aircraft fell and in the amount of G-force in the crash. After hitting the high tension cables the aircraft lost altitude fastly resulting in a large G-force in the crash. The size of the force was too much for the human body to take on, resulting in the death of everyone aboard the aircraft. In this case the way the aircraft crashed resulted in a small amount of damage if compared to incidents with close proportions, but because of this factor nobody survived the crash.
A picture of the airplane in the waterfall, as you can see its rear end was the most damaged part, the rearwing and the tail were separated from the plane due to the strength of the impact. But, the airplane's damage is close to the damage in an airplane that did an emergency landing.
Rest in peace.
Mistakes were made, according to the airport (Marilia was supposed to land at), other pilots were reporting issues to land due to the position of the high tension cables. In my opinion, CEMIG should change the position of these high tension cables and King Air should add a flight recorder in their future beach crafts (model of bimotored aircrafts used for regional flights). Marilia Mendonça leaves her husband and a 1 year old son behind. With 26 years she leaves a legacy of songs and fans. Rest in peace Marilia.