Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 accident near Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Turkish Airlines accident at AmsterdamA Turkish Airlines (THY) Boeing 737-800 aircraft (registration T-CJGE) crashed while on approach to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport this morning, February 25, 2009. THY Flight TK 1951 was arriving at Amsterdam on a scheduled passenger flight from Istanbul at the time of the accident. According to information provided by the airline, there were seven crew members and 127 passengers on board at the time of the accident.

Turkish Airlines confirms nine fatalities and 50 injured, although several news reports, quoting Dutch officials, have said approximately 80 were injured. Three crew members are said to be among the fatalities.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on final approach to runway 18R at Schiphol. It impacted an agricultural field approximately a mile short of the runway threshold. Eyewitnesses claimed that the aircraft hit tail first, but this has not been officially confirmed. News photos of the accident scene do, however, show very significant damage to the empennage. The fuselage of the aircraft reportedly split into three sections. There was no fire.

The Dutch Safety Board has confirmed that both the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder have been recovered from the accident aircraft.

A list of the names of the crew and passengers on Flight TK 1951 has been made available on the Turkish Airlines website.

More information about this accident will be posted on Aircrew Buzz as it becomes available.

[Photo Source]

UPDATE Feb. 26, 2009: Aviation news website, quoting investigators from the Dutch Safety Board, is reporting that "none of the three cockpit personnel survived the accident." They were described as two pilots and an 'apprentice'.

Also reported: that approximately 10 minutes before impact, Dutch controllers instructed the 737 to proceed to the SPY navaid, around 12nm (22km) northeast of the runway and descend to 4,000ft ahead of an instrument landing system approach."

Approximately three minutes before the crash, "controllers told the crew to make a left turn, heading 210°, and cleared the flight for the approach to 18R, before instructing the pilots to contact the Schiphol tower frequency."
...the investigators have noted the apparent "very low forward speed" of the aircraft, and the fact that there are "hardly any tracks" in the field where the jet came to rest. The aircraft appears to have "hit with the tail" and left a "very short trail" of debris.
The number of those injured now stands at 86, with six of those in critical condition.

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