- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
ATR 72
 ATR 72 - N407AT
1994 ATR 72-212 - N407AT (sn 407)
American Eagle
Photo taken November 09, 2010
Miami International Airport, FL - USA (MIA / KMIA)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The ATR 72 is a twin-turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. It seats up to 78 passengers in a single-class configuration and is operated by a two-pilot crew.


The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 in order to increase the seating capacity (48 to 78) by stretching the fuselage by 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in), increasing the wingspan, adding more powerful engines, and increasing fuel capacity by approximately 10 percent. The 72 was announced in 1986, and made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. Exactly one year after that, on October 27, 1989, Finnair became the first company to put the plane into service.

At least 408 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide with orders pending on at least 28 more.


Passengers are boarded using the rear door (which is rare for a passenger plane) as the front door is used to load cargo. Finnair ordered their ATR 72s with front passenger door so they could use the jet bridges at Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

A tail stand must be installed when passengers are boarding or disembarking in the case the nose lifts off the ground, which is common if the aircraft is loaded or unloaded incorrectly.

The ATR aircraft does not have an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) as normally equipped, the APU is an option and would be placed in the C4 cargo section. Most air carriers normally equip the aircraft with a propeller brake (referred to as "Hotel Mode") that stops the propeller on the #2 (right) engine, allowing the turbine to run and provide air and power to the aircraft without the propeller spinning. The downside to the prop brake is improper usage, many airlines have burned these brakes up, and furthermore the companies have removed them from the aircraft entirely. This eliminates the need for the added weight and expense of an APU and prop brake system.


ATR 72–100

Two sub-types were marketed as the 100 series (−100)

  • ATR 72–101
    Initial production variant powered by two PW124B engines and certified in September 1989.
  • ATR 72–102
    PW124B powered variant certified in December 1989

ATR 72–200

Two sub-types were marketed as the 200 series (−200) The −200 was the original production version, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124B engines rated at 2400 shp.

  • ATR 72–201
    Higher maximum take-off weight variant of the −101, a PW124B powered variant certified in September 1989
  • ATR 72–202
    Higher maximum take-off weight variant of the −102, a PW124B powered variant certified in December 1989

ATR 72–210

Two sub-types were marketed as the 210 series (−210), the −211, (and with an enlarged cargo door, called the −212), is a −200 with PW127 engines producing 2,750 shp (2,050 kW) each for improved performance in hot and high-altitude conditions. Difference between the sub-types is the type of doors, emergency exits.

  • ATR 72–211
    PW127 powered variant certified in December 1992
  • ATR 72–212
    PW127 powered variant certified in December 1992

ATR 72–500

  • ATR 72-212A
    Marketed as the −500 and certified in January 1997 with either PW127F or PW127M engines the −212A is an upgraded version of the −210 using six-bladed propellers on otherwise identical PW127F engines. Other improvements include higher maximum weights and superior performance, as well as greater automation of power management to ease pilot workload.

ATR 72–600

On Tuesday 2 October 2007, ATR CEO Stéphane Mayer, announced the launch of the new −600 series aircraft at a Press Conference held in Washington, D.C..

The new ATR 42–600 and ATR 72–600 will feature the latest technological enhancements while building upon the well-known advantages of the current aircraft, namely its high efficiency, proven dispatch reliability, low fuel burn and operating cost. It will include the new PW127M as standard engine (new engines provide 5% additional thermodynamic power at takeoff, thus improving performance on short runways, in hot weather and on high altitude. The incorporation of the “boost function” enables use of this additional power as needed, only when called for by the takeoff conditions.), Glass Cockpit flight deck featuring five wide LCD screens that will replace the current EFIS (Electronic Flight instrument System). In addition, a multi-purpose computer (MPC) will further enhance Flight Safety and operational capabilities. The new avionics, to be supplied by Thales, will also provide CAT III and RNP capabilities. It will also include the new lighter and more comfortable seats and larger overhead baggage bins. The −600 series ATR aircraft will be progressively introduced during the second half of 2010.

Using a temporary test registration F-WWEY the prototype ATR 72–600 first flew on 24 July 2009; it had been converted from an ATR 72–500.

Other versions

  • Cargo Variant
    Bulk Freighter (Tube Versions) and ULD Freighter (Large Cargo Door). ATR unveiled a large cargo door modification for all ATR 72 at Farnborough 2002, coupled with a dedicated cargo conversion. FedEx, DHL, and UPS all operate the type.
  • ATR 72 ASW
    The ATR 72 ASW integrates the ATR 42 MP (Maritime Patrol) mission system with the same on-board equipment but with additional ASW capabilities. An anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant of the −500 (itself a version of the maritime patrol variant of the ATR 42–500) is also in production and has been selected by Turkish Navy and Italian Navy for ASW and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) duties. Ten aircraft will be delivered to the Turkish Navy beginning in 2010. Italy's order of four aircraft will begin deliveries in 2012. For ASW and ASuW missions, the aircraft will be armed with a pod-mounted machine gun, lightweight aerial torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, and depth charges. They will also be equipped with the AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation and Control System) maritime surveillance system of Thales, as well as electronic warfare and reconnaissance systems, and will also be used for maritime search and rescue operations.
  • Corporate Version
    A VIP version of the −500 is available with a luxury interior for executive or corporate transport.
  • ATR Quick Change

Specifications (ATR 72–500)

General characteristics
Crew: 2
Capacity: 68 to 74 passengers
Length: 27.17 m (89 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 27.05 m (88 ft 9 in)
Height: 7.65 m (25 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 61.00 m2 (656.6 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 12.0:1
Empty weight: 12,950 kg (28,550 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 22,500 kg (49,604 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, 1,846 kW (2,475 shp) each

Cruise speed: 511 km/h; 318 mph (276 kn)
Range: 1,324 km (823 mi; 715 nmi)
Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft)


As of 25th November 2009:

  • Aer Arann (6) (2 ATR72-201, 4 ATR72-500)
  • Aer Lingus Regional (4)
  • Aero Caribbean (5)
  • Air Algérie (12)
  • Air Austral (3)
  • Air Bagan (3)
  • Air Botswana (2)
  • Air Calédonie (2)
  • Air Caraïbes (3)
  • Air Contractors (12)
  • Air Dolomiti (10)
  • Air Madagascar (2)
  • Air Mandalay (1)
  • Air Mauritius (2)
  • Air New Zealand (11)
  • Mount Cook Airline as a subsidiary of Air New Zealand (11)
  • Air Nostrum (5)
  • Air Tahiti (7)
  • Air Vanuatu (1)
  • Airlinair (8)
  • Alitalia Express (10 all in storage)
  • American Eagle Airlines (39)
  • Arkia Israel Airlines (5)
  • Aurigny Air Services (3)
  • Avanti Air (1)
  • AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines (4)
  • Bangkok Airways (8)
  • Belle Air (1)
  • Buddha Air Nepal (3)
  • Berjaya Air (4)
  • B&H Airlines (2)
  • Binter Canarias (8)
  • BoraJet Turkey (4 ATR 72–500)
  • Calm Air (1)
  • Cambodia Angkor Air (2 ATR72-500 – Wet leased from Vietnam Airlines)
  • Cape Air (2, in Guam for CO-Ex)
  • CCM Airlines (6)
  • Cebu Pacific (8)
  • Ceiba Intercontinental (2)
  • China Southern Airlines (5)
  • Cimber Sterling (4)
  • Contact Air (3)
  • Conviasa (7)
  • China Southern Airlines (4)
  • Czech Airlines (4) (4 ATR72-202)
  • DanubeWings (3)
  • DAT Danish Air Transport (2)
  • Empire Airlines (3)
  • EuroLOT (8)
  • Executive Airlines / American Eagle (39)
  • Farnair Switzerland (10)
  • FedEx Express (13)
  • Finncomm Airlines (8) (4 orders)
  • Firefly (7)
  • Halcyonair (2)
  • Iran Aseman Airlines (5)
  • Islas Airways (5)
  • Jat Airways (5)
  • Jet Airways (14)
  • Kingfisher Airlines (18)
  • Kingfisher Red (9)
  • Lao Airlines (4)
  • MASwings (10)
  • Merpati Nusantara Airlines (1)
  • Mountain Air Cargo (5) (Operated for FedEx Express)
  • Myanma Airways (3)
  • Naysa Aerotaxis (10) (Operated for Binter Canarias)
  • Precision Air (5)
  • Royal Air Maroc Express (4)
  • Royal Thai Air Force (4)
  • Sevenair (3)
  • Swiftair (13)
  • Syrian Air (2)
  • TACV Cabo Verde Airlines (2)
  • Tarom (2)
  • Thai Airways International (2)
  • TransAsia Airways (9)
  • Trigana Air Service (3)
  • TRIP Linhas Aéreas (14)
  • UTair-Express (3)
  • VASCO (2 ATR72-500 -Wet leased from Vietnam Airlines)
  • Vietnam Airlines (14 ATR72-500)

Major firm orders include:

  • Cebu Pacific (2, with 8 options)
  • Iberia Airlines (10)
  • Iberia Regional (10 firm orders for new ATR 72–600)
  • Royal Air Maroc (8)
  • Royal Air Maroc Express (8 firm orders for 6 new ATR 72–600 & 2 new ATR 42–600)
  • Hansung Airlines (20)
  • Jet Airways (10)
  • Kingfisher Airlines (31)
  • Kingfisher Red (27)
  • Lion Air
  • Wings Air (15, with 15 options)
  • Malaysia Airlines (20,with options for another 13)
  • Firefly-(10 firm orders and 10 optional)
  • MASwings-(10 firm orders and 3 optional)
  • Vietnam Airlines (3)
  • Pantanal Linhas Aéreas (2)

Former civil operators

  • Gabon
    Air Gabon
  • Germany
  • New Zealand
    Origin Pacific Airways

Accidents and incidents

  • On 31 October 1994, American Eagle Flight 4184 crashed due to icing in Roselawn, Indiana killing all 68 people onboard. The accident had a significant effect on procedures for dealing with ATR in-flight icing as well as US airlines' utilization of ATR aircraft in specific geographical areas. After a period of mandatory grounding, American Eagle and Delta Connection permanently stopped using the plane on temperate routes. Since the Eagle incidents, ATR had improved the anti-ice boots, though ice-related incidents continued with the type, including a 2002 crash (see below) and a 2009 event where a smaller ATR-42 variant crashed during landing, in icy conditions. Despite this, ATRs are still used in European markets, including the Nordic countries.
  • On 21 December 2002, TransAsia Airways (TAA) cargo flight 79, an ATR 72–200, crashed due to icing during flight from Taipei to Macau. Both crew members were killed. The plane encountered severe icing conditions beyond the icing certification envelope of the aircraft and crashed into sea 17 km southwest of Makung city. The Aviation Safety Council of Taiwan investigation found that the crash was caused by ice accumulation around the plane's major components, resulting in the aircraft's loss of control. The investigation identified that flight crew did not respond to the severe icing conditions with the appropriate alert situation awareness and did not take the necessary actions.
  • On 9 May 2004, American Eagle Flight 5401 crashed on landing in San Juan, Puerto Rico during a failed go-around attempt. Seventeen people were injured, but there were no fatalities.
  • On 6 August 2005, Tuninter Flight 1153, a Tuninter ATR 72 en route from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia, ditched into the Mediterranean Sea about 18 miles (29 km) from the city of Palermo. Sixteen of the 39 people on board died. The accident resulted from engine fuel exhaustion due to the installation of fuel quantity indicators designed for the ATR 42 in the larger ATR 72.
  • On 24 August 2008, an Air Dolomiti ATR 72 en route from Munich, Germany, to Bologna, Italy, abandoned take off after the pilot announced a smoke alarm. The airline treated the plane's evacuation as a mild incident. On 26 August, an amateur video, filmed by a bystander, showed 60 passengers jumping from and fleeing the burning plane before fire department workers extinguish the flames.
  • On 26 December 2008, a Mount Cook Airlines ATR 72–500 en route from Wellington to Christchurch, New Zealand, lost power in its right engine one minute after takeoff. A passenger reported seeing something hit the engine and smoke from the engine filled the cabin through the air conditioning system. An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the airplane's pilots saw a warning indicator light and shut down one engine. Air New Zealand engineers are investigating the cause of the engine failure.
  • On 4 August 2009, Bangkok Airways Flight 266, an ATR 72-212A from Bangkok Airways skidded into a disused tower at the airport on Koh Samui.The pilot of the aircraft died and 10 passengers were injured.
  • On 31 October 2009, Jet Airways Flight 9W 2633, an ATR 72, made an emergency landing at Amritsar International Airport due to failure of the right side engine. It appeared to some passengers that the crew noticed it only after being told by the passengers. The landing was uneventful.
  • On 10 November 2009, Kingfisher Airlines Flight 4124, operated by ATR 72-212A VT-KAC skidded off the runway after landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, subsequently damaging the nose section severely. The aircraft came to a halt just a few metres away from the fuel tanks of the airport. All 46 passengers and crew escaped unharmed.
  • On 4 November 2010, Aero Caribbean Flight 883, operated by an ATR 72–212, with 61 passengers and 7 crew members, crashed at Guasimal, Cuba while on route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana. All 68 persons onboard were killed. The flight was due in Havana at 7:50pm but had reported an emergency and lost contact with air traffic control at 5:42pm.
Last updated November 23, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "ATR 72".
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