Mixed Signals: Birgenair Flight 301
On 6 February 1996, Birgenair Flight 301 was scheduled to fly from Puerto Plata to Frankfurt. On takeoff, the captain found that his air speed indicator (ASI) was not reading properly, though the co-pilot's ASI was showing the correct speed. Both pilots become confused and believe that both ASIs are malfunctioning. They lost control of the aircraft and crashed in the Atlantic. All 13 crew members and 176 passengers died.
Type of aircraft: Boeing 757-200.
Cause of disaster: Pitot tube blocked by mud dauber wasps, FMC error, Autopilot error. Pilot error.