According to the wiki, the range of the airplane used in the LMI 2933 flight has a range of 1600 miles. The distance between the airports though is 1605 miles though. I presume the exact range varies on conditions, but why would a flight that is outside the listed range be planned? This seems like an amateur mistake that should have been quickly caught on pre-flight checks.

Also, the wiki states that before crashing the plane made 2 loops. If the flight was running out of fuel, why would they do this? It seems like the flight could have easily made it if they flew directly, and considering that they had declared an emergency the ATC wouldn't be able to say no.

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    $\begingroup$ because the investigation is still going on and until it is done, we won't know. $\endgroup$ – Federico Dec 1 '16 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of When does the airline check if an airplane can reach its destination? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Dec 1 '16 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it requests information from an ongoing investigation. $\endgroup$ – Federico Dec 1 '16 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ We avoid most questions on active investigations because they just end up in speculation, but you may want to look at the avherald page for this accident. It's a relatively well-informed and objective site, although it can be a bit technical. It answers your second question about the loops (holding pattern): a previous aircraft had already declared an emergency, so it got priority and 2933 was instructed to hold. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 1 '16 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ Only a journalist can answer this question... $\endgroup$ – mins Dec 1 '16 at 19:48

The investigation is still on-going so I will stick to what is factually known. An airplane's range through the air should not be confused with travel over the ground, actual distance over the ground can vary significantly depending on the winds aloft. A significant tailwind will allow an airplane to travel farther than its listed maximum range, which is really just an estimate. We won't know what happened in this case until the investigation is complete.

According to the information about the flight the pilot did not declare an emergency, so was told to orbit while another airplane which had a mechanical problem landed, this explains the loops.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why would you say that's speculation @KorvinStarmast? $\endgroup$ – GdD Dec 1 '16 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ I see your point @KorvinStarmast. $\endgroup$ – GdD Dec 1 '16 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I don't know anyone who would rather die than declare an emergency, my point was that airplane fuel gauges aren't exact. The pilots probably knew they were pretty low but maybe not how low. That is, as you pointed out, speculation $\endgroup$ – GdD Dec 1 '16 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ Downvote removed, per your amendment. Aviation accident history has examples of people who would prefer not to declare an emergency ... some of whom died as a consequence. $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Dec 1 '16 at 17:24

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