The BAE 146 aircraft is a short-haul aircraft that was used to land in hard-to-access airports and frequently flew soccer teams across South America. The plane is 17-year-old plane, which was part of the British Aerospace 146 stable of aircraft.

The same plane that crashed is said to have earlier this month ferried world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi and his Argentina team from Brazil to Buenos Aires between World Cup qualifier matches.

Built and sold in 1999, can have a range of about 1,700 nautical miles (1,955 miles, 3,150 kilometers), according to David Dorman, a spokesman for BAE.


Colombia’s aviation authority said initial reports suggest the aircraft was suffering from electrical problems, although investigators were also looking into an account from one of the survivors that the plane ran out of fuel about five minutes from its expected landing at the Jose Maria Cordova airport outside Medellin.

Because they can take a steep approach to landing, the BAE 146 fleet can use very short runways. It has four jet engines suspended from a wing affixed to the top of the plane and typically does not carry much more than 100 passengers.

Most recently, in April 2014, a BAE 146 carrying 97 people made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from Perth, western Australia, after one of its engines caught fire. No one was injured.

BAE is responsible for checking the planes’ airworthiness and for engineering support.

The U.K. Aircraft Accidents Investigation Branch said it is sending a team to Colombia to assist local authorities with their investigation, since Britain is listed as the “state of manufacture” for the plane.