PMT Air Antonov AN-24 plane crash
The plane, a Russian-made An-24, was flying between two popular tourist destinations in Cambodia. It departed from Siem Reap — home to the popular Angkor
Wat temple complex — to the coastal city of Sihanoukville.
The airplane crashed in a remote, mountainous terrain, in the Kom Chhay Mountains, near Sihanoukville. The airplane was supposed to fly around the eastern side of Bokor Mountain near Kampot, but it was found to have taken the western course because of heavy rains in the original course. Because Bokor Mountain rises 1,080 meters above sea level, pilots are expected to maintain a minimum altitude of 1,200 meters in the area. At the time of crash, the aircraft was flying at just 600 meters.
The control tower warned the crew it was flying too low, but the pilot ignored the warning, saying, "I know this terrain well." Communications ended immediately afterwards. The airplane crashed into an 800-meter mountain.
The crash site is near the top of a northwestern sloping point of the mountain. The area, called Phnom Damrei or Elephant Mountain, is about 40 km or five minutes by air from Sihanoukville Airport, the plane's destination. The 22 people onboard were killed.
The plane belonged to PMT Air, a small Cambodian airline that began flying the route in January.