View Full Version : Crash at ZRH

25th Nov 2001, 01:54

Eine Maschine ist um ca. 22.16 Uhr beim Landeanflug auf Kloten vom Radar verschwunden. Nähere Details sind noch nicht bekannt. Ein Grossaufgebot der Feuerwehr ist vor Ort.

Roughly translated:

A plane has vanished from the radar screens around 22.16 while on approach to Zurich Kloten. Fire response teams have been dispatched to the accident site.

Initial reports say it is a Crossair RJ100.

[ 24 November 2001: Message edited by: Iain ]

25th Nov 2001, 02:15
was on fligh LX 3597 from Berlin-Tegel to ZRH. Initial reports said it was an Avro RJ100 HB-IXM (built 1996)

Damn, another hit into "Mount Stadel" ??
At the time it was dark in falling snow...

I only hope somebody survived
more: www.jacdec.de (http://www.jacdec.de)

25th Nov 2001, 02:36
LSZH 242120Z 13002KT 4000 -SN FEW006 BKN015 01/M00 Q1023 8820// 99 NOSIG=

25th Nov 2001, 02:38
at 2108 utc a RJ crashed during approach to runway 28 in Zurich. according to prelim reports one person is dead and several injured.

Beavis & Butthead
25th Nov 2001, 03:51
Where will it end .... sorry to hear of this. Does seem to be one of Crossair's RJ's.


Behind the Curtain
25th Nov 2001, 03:58
Terrible news. Swissinfo (http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.html?siteSect=105&sid=922571) has a bit more:

A small Crossair Jumbolino jet, carrying 32 passengers, has crashed during its approach into Zurich-Kloten airport, killing at least seven people.

A spokesman for Zurich’s cantonal police said the scheduled flight LX3597 went down in a wooded area in Birchwil near Bassersdorf shortly after 22.08 on Saturday evening.

Manfred Winkler, a spokesman for Crossair, said the four engine aircraft was carrying 27 passengers and five crew. Journalists from Switzerland's SF1 television station at the scene of the crash reported that at least seven people had been killed and nine more were injured.

Rescue workers are at the crash site and Zurich airport's emergency procedures have been put in place. Crossair has set up two crisis management centres in Basel and Zurich.

Speaking on Swiss television, Hans Baltenberger from Zurich's cantonal police force said he could not confirm how many people had been killed. He said the plane crashed in heavy woodland and that some survivors may well by in among the trees. He added that the middle section of the plane was severly damaged with the nose and tail sections fairly intact.

The head of Crossair, André Dosé, said he was shocked by the tragedy and extended his sympathies to the victim's families.

The plane took off from Berlin's Tegel airport at 21.01 local time and was due to land in Zurich at 22.15 on runway 28.

Weather conditions were reported to be poor and wintry around the city at the time of the crash.

(2 paragraphs about Crossair and emergency numbers snipped)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: Behind the Curtain ]

25th Nov 2001, 04:00
The news reports 8 survived, 10 have been found deceased, and the search for more people goes on.
My thoughts are with the families!

dallas dude
25th Nov 2001, 04:14
Very sorry to hear about this accident.

What an 'annus horiblis' this year's turning out to be for our beloved profession.



25th Nov 2001, 05:00
lucky it was an RJ or more would have died.
Strange thing is looking at the pictures on news, not many trees were cut down by the plane, Stall?

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: schit.furbraen ]

25th Nov 2001, 06:37
I am not sure what picture you saw, but from what I saw you could really not tell if there was any tree damage. I am sure we will know more in the morning. Eye-witness' said the pilot was coming in very low, but that is a given considering what happened!

25th Nov 2001, 07:04
Another very sad day in our industry.....Just turned on CNN and saw a intervju with a Crossair spokesmen - 28 passengers 5 crew. So far 9 survivors. Other survivors are belived(?) to be walking around in the forest sourounding the crash site.

The A/C looked like it was in a quite good shape....Hopefully more survivors will be found.

My toughts are with all the families of the people involved.....

25th Nov 2001, 08:51
Why R/W 28, in 4k vis ? I'm sure its a vor/dme, with a high minimum and vis requirement.
While 14 & 16 have an ILS.

Another sad day. God bless to all concerned

Few Cloudy
25th Nov 2001, 13:51
Firstly condolences to all concerned.
Secondly it has nothing to do with the Stadlerberg - a VOR line up to RW28. New press conference at 11.00.

Front and rear part in "good" shape - centre section destroyed - some smoke - trees down - looks like a "flat"impact. 9 at least survivors.

F/O Junior
25th Nov 2001, 13:53
Since the famous 'less overflights' contract with germany, no more landings after 22:00 LT on RWY 14 and 16.

25th Nov 2001, 14:41
If Richtofen wx report accurate then this makes an interesting choice of approach in poor vis. Especially with Rw28 coming in over MSA 8600 to the east and south of the airfield.
Aviation experts already annoucing their opinions on BBC N24 channel, they have been quoted as saying the pilot 'Flew' the aircraft into the ground.
:confused: :confused:

Wait for the enquiry please. Remember our colleagues. God bless them.

Where's that damn switch ?

25th Nov 2001, 14:43
If they used 28 because of local noise restrictions, I'm sad to say "a classic case of the tail wagging the dog".
Bureaucracy gone mad.
Very, very sad !

25th Nov 2001, 14:57
Sorry to hear about this accident.

Stating the obvious but most pilots will choose a precision approach over a non-precision approach every time in marginal weather and light winds. Is it not about time that the most suitable approach aids should be available and used every time in marginal weather rather than not being allowed to fly through German airspace?

Looking slightly further ahead into the future what will this do for the resurrection of Crossair/Swissair?

25th Nov 2001, 15:11
Again proof, "EUROPE" is still far away :rolleyes:

25th Nov 2001, 15:21
Sincere condolences to all involved and who have been affected by yet another aviation tragedy.
Went into there on Thurs night with not particularily brilliant viz in -sn, on minimums cloud base and a howling wind from the NW. We did the VOR/DME onto 28 & it really isn't an easy procedure to follow.
Thank God I was doing it in an A319 & not something steam powered.

25th Nov 2001, 15:38
LX 3597 from Berlin-Tegel to ZRH it was Avro RJ100 HB-IXM

Weather around the time of the crash (2106Z) included snow:
LSZH 241920Z 16001KT 4500 -SN FEW010 OVC025 00/M00 Q1024 8829// // TEMPO 3000=
LSZH 242120Z 13002KT 4000 -SN FEW006 BKN015 01/M00 Q1023 8820// 99 NOSIG=

interesting and possibly alarming details
have emerged. The aircraft that crashed was on approach to Runway 28. This
runway has been in use for regular night landings only for 4 weeks. For
ILS-landings, no glide path for height indication is installed, making
landings tricky in difficult weather conditions. Use of runway 28 has become
necessary as Zurich's main runways can no longer be used for landings after
2200hrs since a bilateral treaty with Germany has come into effect. This
treaty now bans all approaches over German territory after 2200hrs, forcing
aircraft to take the more difficult approach to runway 28. The aircraft
impacted in a relatively flat angle, making a misjudgement of heigth likely.

Strangely enough, there are still 14 passenger/crew missing more than 12
hours after the crash, with 10 confirmed dead, 3 seriously injured (severely
burned) and 6 with minor injuries (one of the nine survivors is pop-star
Melanie Thornton).
The aicraft is now confirmed as a 97seat Avro RJ100, built in 1996. It is
said to be HB-IXM (c/n E3291), an aircraft with approx. 13.000 hrs in its
books. It was piloted by a veteran Swiss Crossair captain and crewed by a
5-strong, all-Swiss crew. Nationalities of the 28 passengers have not been
revealed so far.

For a picture of the aircraft: http://www.airliners.net/open.file?smallfile=yes&id=184121
For a video of the crashsite: http://www.n-tv.de/2839628.html
For a picture gallery: http://www.tages-anzeiger.ch/ta/taOnlineArtikel?ArtId=143826 (click on
gallery icon "Galerie Crossair Absturz bei Bassendorf")

25th Nov 2001, 16:00
Seems to be a CFIT.

If it's the case, how is it possible today with a GPWS ???

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: atr42 ]

Kaptein Max
25th Nov 2001, 16:26
- ATR42, GPWS gives you VERY little time to act in some cases. Are you always prepared to instantly give max power and pull up to stick shaker, even when you are on approach, and "know" everything is fine.

- Does the BBC report this to be a "Jumbolino" so that as few as possible actually understand which a/c type it is?

Cisco Kid
25th Nov 2001, 16:42
MAX you must always react to an unexpected GPWS hard warning at night ,in IMC,or in marginal WX; no questions or discussion.That´s the procedure in my Airline,and we are trained to do so,discuss it later over a beer.Perhaps the GPWS was not functioning,it´s not always a minimum requirement, who knows? This RW 28 approach, in my opinion, is no more difficult than many other non-prec approaches in the world; but it´s true to say that an ILS is always better,& the tail does increasingly wag the dog.

Condolences to All Family members.

25th Nov 2001, 17:04
The blame is given to the Zuerich airport, which has failed to install a proper instrument approach with glide path on rwy 28.
Maybe the reason is local noice restrictions. So they leave it to the airlines again.
I feel very sorry to everybody involved, especially the fine people of crossair.

25th Nov 2001, 17:07
Can someone post the approach / arrival charts for 28 at LSZH.


Few Cloudy
25th Nov 2001, 17:17
Three more points:

1) Cockpit not in such "good shape" as originally reported.

2) Freezing rain in the crash area at the time (2 miles west of ZRH).

3) The VOR approach to RW 28 has been in use for several years - there is also a STOL version for suitable aircraft which is a pig to fly if there is not a strong west wind blowing.

[On another note, it would be nice to meet some of you if you can make it on 30th in the Hecht, Winkel (see further below).]

Few Cloudy
25th Nov 2001, 17:20
Missed your post above, Cisco - the GPWS may have been out of any mode if full landing config. had been established.

METO power
25th Nov 2001, 17:40
At “my“ airline it is always mandatory to execute an escape maneuver if you receive an unexpected GPWS warning, irrespectively of flight conditions. Unfortunately will current GPWS systems (except the new EGPWS on the 737-800/900) not prevent CFIT in landing configuration.

Like Cisco, I also don’t think that the VOR approach for RWY 28 in ZRH is especially difficult. However, ATC usually vectors you around for a long time at low level, which could easily ice up an aircraft pretty bad in yesterdays weather condition. The long initial sequence of the standard approach (which you usually have to fly) doesn’t help either.

My deepest sympathy to everybody involved.

25th Nov 2001, 17:48
In such a weather condition all the noise/political agreement must be overcome.

Another time we have to wait till an aircraft is crashed for some action from people flying the desk (Guv, take note).

Why we attend classes of CRM and study lots of terms (situational awareness, ..,)?

To escape from Pilot Induced Errors?

I flew all the approaches in ZRH (all types and RWYs) with different a/cs, also with RJs, but as a prevention I think that the 22.00 overflights rules should be disregarded in such weather conditions.

My condolences and symphaty to all Swiss pilots and families.


METO power
25th Nov 2001, 18:08
B****t, the VOR approach to RWY 28 has been introduced more than 10 years ago and was always used when tailwind exceeded 10kts on 14 and 16.

Cisco Kid
25th Nov 2001, 18:25
That´s right METO, and 25 yrs ago we were circling onto RW28 day and night for the same reasons; what´s the press obsession with the type of approach?

25th Nov 2001, 18:29
According to Swiss TV info following nationalities were on board:

The Netherlands

What another terrible day for aviation. My deepest condolences to all families involved. :(

Cisco Kid
25th Nov 2001, 18:42
Good points ,Few C & Meto, about possible icing,given the weather almost certain,& reduced function of GPWS in ldg. configuration I was thinking of E-GPWS so you are correct on that score.Some models do still generate a warning with gear down usually "Terrain" without the pull up alert,depends on closure rate& speed.

Anyway let´s hope we do not have to wait an eternity for the official report,then we all can learn something.

GearUp CheerUp
25th Nov 2001, 18:43

If the aircraft is configured for landing with landing flap selected, the only possible GPWS warnings are the Mode 5 alerts ie deviation below the glideslope. If there is no GS then, unless the aircraft is fitted with EGPWS, I dont see what can prevent flying into the ground short of the runway.

EGPWS as fitted to the RJ100 provides RAD ALT auto calls of 500, 100, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (feet)

(edited to add last paragraph)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: GearUp CheerUp ]

25th Nov 2001, 18:44
Ok guys, not necessarily a difficult approach, but it depends how you fly it.
Most big aircraft fly a constant descent NPA, to a minimum and then if nothing seen -G/A.
However, smaller A/C still fly down to MDA and look out the window until reaching the Missed app point.
A more difficult and high risk approach indeed!

Cisco Kid
25th Nov 2001, 19:00
Shouldn´t be like that on this Approach Gulfer,there are clearly defined dme distances & alt restrictions at the said distaces (and or radials)in fact due to terrain the last 5 miles calls for an appr. angle of 3.7 deg.and an alt.of approx 2000ft. agl at that point,there is also a speed restriction on final turn; but Few C´s point about the STOL procedure might make it different in this case ,I don´t know.
cheers Cisco.

25th Nov 2001, 20:10
First of all condolences to all involved. :-(

I had a look at the approach charts for RWY 28 this morning.

One thing which seems as a very big disclaimer for the authorities is a note in fine print on the plan view of both approach plates to RWY 28, which states that KLO VOR may be unreliable below 12,000ft.

It doesn't state in which sectors, so how can an approach be designed on such a navaid?

Moreover, the STOL approach doesn't look very friendly. For an approach speed typical for the RJ I would guess it would need a rate of descent in the region of 1,700 fpm on the final track.

Not something I would like to do, i.e. diving towards terrain at that speed in IMC conditions at that time of the night.

As echoed by many fellow aviators, I think we must take a stand and say "No!" whenever these criminal, noise abatement death traps are issued.

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: 320DRIVER ]

Dr Know
25th Nov 2001, 21:07
My deepest sympathy to those who lost someone dear in this yet again, unnecessary tragedy.

I have flown the Avro RJ for Crossair on the same approach in similar weather. Not to difficult but would have been much nicer doing an ILS on Rwy 14/16
This is as every one mentioned the classic tail wagging the dog scenario. You sometimes cannot help to wonder how many lives need to be lost before the Swiss bureaucrats catch a wake-up.(Yes I am an Auslander) It is again very easy for all to point fingers at the crew, the airport, ATC etc. Maybe it is time to address the real problem!! The mentality, surrounding aviation in Switzerland!

Wow, :( this is not the place to belittle the aircraft others fly (steam driven).
The Avro RJ may not have tree prims, two secs and a side stick but it was good enough for at least 10 people (up to now and hopefully 13 more) to have survived.

25th Nov 2001, 21:28

Unfortunately the list also includes a Swede.

Condolences to all....

25th Nov 2001, 21:28
It is a known fact that CFIT risk is increased significantly with a non precision app . This particular proc . is more difficult than the average especially when the last time I did it ATC wanted 180 kts to 4 miles . That said it may not be attributed to CFIT but there is no doubt that a VOR/DME in these conditions at night into an a/f with high terrain would have increased the workload with a consequential reduction in situation awareness which in turn means that any other additional problem encountered eg wx tech fault atc or even ice could catch of any of us out at some stage .

This app whilst reducing noise does increase the risk .

25th Nov 2001, 22:10
Is the RJ like the BAe-146 in that a certain minimum N1 must be maintained when operating the hot wings? That combined with a steep approach at night would be a nightmare!

My prayers for all and their coworkers.

25th Nov 2001, 23:14
Years ago, circled (many times) to rny 28 from an ILS 16 in a B707, always at night and in rain and snow....and believe me there are traps for the unwary...bit of a black hole...not easy.

METO power
25th Nov 2001, 23:17
Gear up, E (Enhanced) GPWS only works in conjunction with GPS. It gives you a warning if you descend outside a predetermined boundary around an airport stored in the database. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt that LX has its RJ equipped with GPS receivers.

A colleague of mine landed about 45 min before the accident with a 738 in ZRH. According to him he picked up a lot of ice on the way down and he was also warned about it by ATC. He was one of the last guys who got in on RWY 14 so he didn’t have to fly the lengthy approach procedure for the VOR/DME on 28. As you know, severe icing can also lead to unreliable airspeed, which can be difficult to detect during the final stage of a non-precision approach in turbulent air. They were more than 500 feet below the minimum altitude at the point of impact. It’s difficult to imagine that two professionals neglected minimum altitudes during approach at the home base. They must have experienced a stall or some other serious malfunctions. Anyway, it is all speculation; the investigation will hopefully reveal the real cause of the accident.

Sad, I just found out that the Captain was one of the good guys. He gave me my check-ride for my initial swiss B-IFR 26 years ago. He was real pro with an outstanding personality. I don’t know if he survived, but I sure do hope so.

25th Nov 2001, 23:39
Dear WOW400,
"Steamdriven"? If your 319 had hit the ground like this RJ, it would have been unrecognizable, let alone have survivors.don't compare this aeroplane with large pax planes. Regional, made to cost and for it's own niche market.
Icing? please! we've flown RJ/146's in worse conditions.
I'm just glad for the lives saved...

Dr Know
25th Nov 2001, 23:51
Some but not all Crossair RJ are equiped with EGPWS, can't remember if this one was.
The aircraft normaly handle ice well but yes, the engines need a higher N1.A figure of 70% rings a bell. Might be wrong. You have ample dingdongs to remind you. The ice-detector is the first. It is LX procedure to have wing and engine anti ice on when entering cloud even if it is 30deg C.

Saab 2000 Driver
26th Nov 2001, 00:03
The Zürich VORDME 28 approach has been suspended until calibration flights have been performed to "verify the functionality of the equipment."

26th Nov 2001, 00:11
Schit for brains; what an apt name!

What's your problem son? I read Wow400's post; can't see anything wrong in that. Maybe you have a chip on both shoulders mate cos you fly a 'steam-driven' machine. We all did once, so lighten up a bit.

More importantly, condolences to all concerned. Very tragic, regardless of the circumstances.

rhythm method
26th Nov 2001, 00:36
I don't think wow400 was criticising steam driven machines, rather, saying that it's difficult enough in a high tech scarebus and therefore he didn't envy the clockwork drivers having to do it all themselves. Some of us steamdriven boys are being hyper-sensitive. Settle down!

Condolences to all. :(

26th Nov 2001, 00:47
This really is awful.Thoughts are with yet more families deprived of their loved ones.
If this 22:00 flyover restriction resulted in a 28 approach,with cloud at 600',it is one of the worst examples ever of the noise lobby compromising safety.
The descent is initiated at 4,000' adjacent to a spot ht of 2,927' in the 8 miles that follow the Jep plate only gives ONE check alt (at 6 miles 3,360').After that you are on your own until MAP at 2 miles-MDA 2390'(974').
It is a slightly higher than normal ROD onto by far the shortest of Zurich's three runways.
This may all have nothing to do with Saturdays accident,but even so they should never have been asked to do this approach in these conditions. :(

26th Nov 2001, 01:33
My condolances for every family involved. I really hope that local'' noise regulations did not contribute to this crash''. I mean far too often noise prevails above safety and that is unacceptable. Schiphol got a black star for it!!

26th Nov 2001, 01:49
but even so they should never have been asked to do this approach in these conditions.

Looking at the METAR reports around the time of the accident, one was above VFR conditions, while the report slightly after the accident was .5nm sfc vis from being VFR.

Any transport pilot who can't fly a VOR/DME procedure - perhaps the easiest non-precision approach to perform - with 2.5 miles visibility, negligible wind, and a ceiling above 1500 feet doesn't need to be flying at all.

Something else had to happen to cause that aircraft to crash at 5.5DME, where they should have been descending through about 1300' AGL, in my opinion.

26th Nov 2001, 02:04
Firstly, terrible to see another aircraft lost and my condolences to all involved.

The VOR/DME approach into ZRH is suprisingly hard with a complex interception via sometimes 2 other VORs and with a large number of height steps. It requires far more skill than any other VOR/DME i have every done. As well as this I think it has proved impossible to install any precision approach onto the runway due to terrain which is why the slope on the approach is steeper than usual.

There have also been comments made about the combination of a steeper approach and high power settings required for the hot wings on the RJ/146 and this being a nightmare. Let me just say that the aircraft has a FABULOUS airbrake and very effective flaps. It would be no problem.

Has anyone suggested the old one of 1013/QNH? Seem to remember an Alitalia not making ZRH some years ago.

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: jetgirl ]

26th Nov 2001, 02:10
Hi all,

Here's a computer-generated depiction of the VOR/DME 28 at LSZH. Couldn't find a Jepp chart online.. sorry. :(


Midnight Blue
26th Nov 2001, 02:39
This looks like very old data...
I have the Jepp LSZH 13-2 in front of me from 10 NOV 00.
DME 8.0: 4000 (2584)
DME 6.0: 3360 (1944)
DME 2.0: 2390 (974) the MDA and MAP

KLO is 114.85 not 116.4

Missed Approach:
Proceed to KLO VOR. Follow R-255 KLO to intercept R-012 WIL (116.9). Proceed to EKRIT climbing to 6000.

Unfortunately I can´t scan it into the system and bring it onto this page due to "not enough knowledge".

Approaches into LSZH after 22.00 loc time are required to use 28 instead of 14/16 because of noise abatement. What a b*llsh*t!!!

Midnight Blue

26th Nov 2001, 02:44
Midnight Blue,

My whole was that asking a pilot to perform a VOR/DME approach in conditions very near VFR isn't exactly "irresponsible" or dangerous.

26th Nov 2001, 02:53
Thanks for that Chris.

Apart from some of the turning involved to establish inbound, the actual procedure seems quite straight forward.
A constant 3 degree profile from 4000 feet at 8 miles will put you at the min. of 2330 at approx 2.4 miles. Absolutely nothing difficult about that at all.

There must have been something very wrong for the guys to come down where they did. RIP.

Hooking Fell
26th Nov 2001, 03:06
Our thoughts must be with those who perished and their loved ones.

Nevertheless, two Crossair crashes at Zurich in as many years..... maybe time for broader questioning?

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: Hooking Fell ]

26th Nov 2001, 03:15
New update from the Zurich newspaper NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

Among the 9 survivors are obviously two crew-members, however it is not stated if cockpit or cabin.
According to local police statements the following nationalities and numbers were on board of the plane:
Germany: 13
Switzerland: 10
Israel: 3
The Netherlands: 2
Canada: 1
Sweden: 1
Spain: 1
Ghana: 1
Austria: 1

One comment to the weather situation shortly before the accident.
A friend of mine flew the VORDME28 approach to LSZH that evening. They were the first plane (ERJ145 of CRX) which was directed to this approach. According to his statements, they picked up a lot of ice down to the final turn onto track 275° to KLO VOR. They had to descent to MDA (2390 ft AMSL) in full IMC and had visual contact with the approach lights of runway 28 at about D 2.3 KLO, which is 0.3 NM before MAP. They touched down on RWY28 around 22:01 LT. A Saab 2000 came 2nd behind them. The ARJ100 which crashed was obviously number 3 for approach.

What a sad weekend....


26th Nov 2001, 04:32
Dont normally respond to these
Guys wait and see the results becuase i have seen everything from gpws, crew compatibility, approach difficult etc
Wait and see!!

I have trained and watched many an approach on this runway, and will wait to hear results and i know its hard when told to keep speed up but I suggest we wait and find out report. In respect of those that died, please understand!
One day it could be your friend or work companion, so shall we wait????
Aircraft type who worrys, but good gossip!
But dont forget one thing! It could be _! :(

26th Nov 2001, 11:58
I think the crash at ZRH is a very tragic thing, but does anybody know the dutytimes the crew had this day. nowhere it was mentioned.

the maker
26th Nov 2001, 12:14
just a single rotation, Berlin and back

26th Nov 2001, 12:17
Does anybody notice on the crash photo that tail speedbrakes are in about 80% deploy position? I’ve found it to be very unusual. Doubt it could be extracted from impact.

Few Cloudy
26th Nov 2001, 12:59

As always - no speculation - but here you have interested professionals on a rumour board - rather like asking a thirsty camel not to drink water.

A few clues could add up here:

1) RW28 VOR approach was never found difficult by Swissair pilots because - they never flew the STOL version and - they only flew it when the crosswind (or occasionally tailwind) for 14/16 was out of limits, so they had a relativly LOW groundspeed. The new German/Swiss agreement demands this approach even if there is no headwind, however.

2) A STOL approach requires high ROD which requires Low Thrust,

3) Severe icing conditions are usually at the limits of engine/airframe deicing equipment and require High Thrust,

4) After a steep descent in STOL configuration it is neccessary to put on a lot of thrust to arrest the descent, requiring an instant thrust response.

Now we don't know whether the flight was performing a STOL approach or how bad the icing was but I throw these factors into the pot for what they are worth.

26th Nov 2001, 13:01
I haven't seen any pics. in which the speed breaks where deployed in any way, however I often see the Avro usually deploying them fairly early. Perhaps a "Jumbolino" driver can shed some light on the proc.

My sympathy and condolences to all. RIP.

26th Nov 2001, 13:11

The STOL procedure is on request only and is, since RWY 28 has become the primary landing runway after 22:00, no longer being requested. There also was a lid as per the amount of STOL ops. on 28 - 12 per day if I remember correctly.

26th Nov 2001, 13:18
During an autopilot coupled autoland approach the air brake is deployed before reaching 500 ft AGL.
During a standard approach the airbrake is deployed at around 100 ft.
During any phase of the descend the airbrake can be used at any speed. The Avro is fitted with an automatic airbrake retraction system in case of go-around or levelling off, this system is activated by means of switches on the thrust levers.
In landing configuration a level off flight needs plenty of power, the airbrake would, even if selected to deploy, retract instantly, the power required is enough to also give adequate air supply to the wings for de-icing, a setting of approximately 75%, assuming a landing weight of less than 32 to. Around 50% is enough for the wings to receive adequate air for de-icing.
Too many speculations at this stage, let´s wait and see....the boxes are in Woodford.
Pure coincidence, just 5 weeks ago I did exactly this scenario in the simulator, low vis, low clouds, severe icing, RWY28.
For sure an approach which askes for high attention and close adherence to profiles.


[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: FL310 ]

Dagger Dirk
26th Nov 2001, 13:19
ChrisKSDF said
My whole point was that asking a pilot to perform a VOR/DME approach in conditions very near VFR isn't exactly "irresponsible" or dangerous.

Initially beginning to look very much like this RJ100 tangled with freezing rain (aka rain-ice) during the protracted time spent at low-level on that drawn-out approach (temp zero and dewpoint zero from the ATIS more or less confirms that). Allegedly ATC always motor them around via some lengthy track-miles even before they get to commence that 28 VOR final approach. They would have accumulated a lot of ice very quickly in the rain and snow conditions. In fact they would have quickly become a flying ice-block. Those ex Chinook helo engines aren't renowned for coping well with heavy icing conditions (although they are anti-iced, that bleed-air fed system could be overcome at lower power settings on the approach). But more to the point, not many aircraft can cope aerodynamically, for any period, with freezing rain/snow - because it tends to hit and stick in areas on the wings, tail and fuselage that just aren't able to be de-iced. It is accumulative. That build-up can rapidly erode the aircraft's aerodynamics (lotsa drag, increased weight and a greatly increased stall speed). The pilots may not have realised just how much their stall speed had increased. When the laminar flows are disrupted by the non-laminar formation of rime ice accretions and ice-ridges (just aft of the de-iced leading edge areas) and ice excrescences (caused by melted ice flowing back and re-freezing further aft) then the stall IAS can zoom up and the stall warning can then be as little as a few knots. In part that is because the horizontal tail surfaces (elevator and horizontal stabilizer) are also affected. It is normally the vibration over the tail that warns you about pre-stall airflow breakaway occurring prematurely (speedwise) on the wing - but with a high-up T-tail, I'm not sure that that would be the case. When the freezing level is very close to the ground (or lowest safe altitude in IMC) you cannot escape rain-ice (by descending into warmer air) - so the only answer is in diverting, preferably before you get caught up in this deteriorating condition.

It's possible that they might have stalled it when levelling early at MDA for the drive into the MAP or even on an attempted missed approach (i.e. during flap retraction). That's exactly when that heavy coating of draggy rain-ice and greatly increased stall speed is most likely to catch you out. T-tail deep-stall might have been part of it. They obviously hit quite flat so that either means stalled or ran outa power. If they'd simultaneously had engine problems I'd not be surprised. These RJ-100's have the LF-507 engines (which allegedly don't suffer from roll-back, but that's not to say that they would behave impeccably in heavy rain-ice. Spent a bit of time in freezing rain and I know just how fast things can turn to worms, if you don't get out of it pronto. The problem is that, being night-time, they wouldn't have been monitoring the wings visually, nor necessarily noticed the ice build-ups on the windshields. Someone mentioned that the dive-brake was about 80% deployed. They likely did that so that they could carry more power for better wing de-ice. However in freezing rain (that just hits and sticks), that's not going to assist at all.

If they'd been able to slot straight into an ILS there'd have likely been no problem. I blame the bureaucrats and their compulsory 28 approach - totally idiotic in those weather conditions. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it criminal stupidity.

26th Nov 2001, 15:26
There has never been an airframe certified for flight into freezing rain or drizzle. Once you get in it, you're a test pilot. Happened in Roselawn, Indiana in 1994 - an Eagle ATR-72.

26th Nov 2001, 15:36
We just have had a minute of silence here at our company, because the president of our business unit and the finance boss together were on board of this flight, among those, who did not survive this crash. And how often I myself used this flight to ZRH. My and my colleagues condolences to all who also lost loved ones an colleagues. Another bad day for aviation.

Plane Speaker
26th Nov 2001, 16:08
The airbrakes on a 146/RJ are inclined to creep open after a few minutes on the ground. So with the hydraulic lines severed I'm not surprised to read this here.
As has been said many times before all this speculation only serves to feed a media frenzy. Crossairs name of Jumbolino seemed to cause confusion aplenty to the BBC on Saturday and Sunday..looking for a 747?
May they all R.I.P.

26th Nov 2001, 16:52
The speed brake will open on impact, only held together with a small teflon locking mechanism,when no hydroulic power. So airbrake could have been in any position. The impact looks a bit nose down as the front is crushed from radome backwards, but the tail looks in good condition. Still, the impact looks quite flat though.

26th Nov 2001, 18:27

26th Nov 2001, 18:33
Missing pax are declared dead. Sorry.

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: N380UA ]

26th Nov 2001, 20:01
my crew wish to send a condolence to CRX , anyone know the full postal address.


Hold at Saffa
26th Nov 2001, 20:23
Dagger Dirk:

My thoughts exactly. I rather suspect the investigation will reveal something akin to what you suggest. A fresh crew performing a routine task in a homebase environment is not "pilot error" material (whatever THAT means), and I suggest we owe it to the memories of those lost, not to speculate randomly as to their performance.

Hooking Fell:
Using this dreadful accident to pedal your slovenly pro-Swissair/anti-Crossair agenda is appalling even by your standard. You're a disgrace to the profession.

God Bless all involved and effected. :( :( :(

Dr Know
26th Nov 2001, 20:29
From LX Management

Dear Colleagues,

The tragic event of last night, has caused us all deep sorrow and grief.
The loss and injury of our dear colleagues and their passengers, is a
heavy burden for us all to bear. At this time, the cause of the
accident is not known, but a thorough investigation has been launched.
I would like to pass on to you personally the facts that we have on hand
at this time.

The Flight
LX3597 was the regular scheduled flight from TXL to ZRH. It departed
TXL on time at 1940 UTC.
The crew was originally planned to operate ZRH-BRU-ZRH, before the
ZRH-TXL-ZRH rotation, but the BRU flight was changed to a S20. There
were 2 pilots, 3 cabin crew members and 28 passengers on board.

The aircraft HB-IXM had no major technical deficiencies reported before
the flight. There was a minor remark about the APU, that it required
two start attempts on a previous flight. In addition, the cockpit
temperature control system was reported to be inoperative in AUTO mode.
All scheduled maintenance checks and inspections had been performed in
accordance with the approved maintenance plan. No reports had been
received about navigation, communication or warning system faults. As
an immediate response, however, the navigation data base for the ZRH RWY
28 VOR/DME approach was checked for way point accuracy. Additional
precautionary inspections will also be performed on the GPWS, Stall
Warning System, Radio Altimeters, Altitude Alerting System, Pitot Static
System, Barometric Altimeters, Standby Altimeter, and FGC 1 & 2. These
checks will be completed by Monday morning, the 26th of November.

Airport Information
The navigation and lighting facilities were reported to be functioning
normally at the time of the accident.

Weather Conditions
The accident occurred at approximately 2106 UTC. METAR for 2050 UTC was
16002 3500 -SN FEW006 BKN015 OVC022 00°/00° Q1024 TEMPO 5000. METAR for
2120 UTC was 13002 4000 -SN FEW006 BKN015 OVC022 01°/00° Q1023 NOSIG.

Emergency Response
The Emergency Control Center (ECC) was opened by Thomas Brandt
immediately after the accident. The response procedures include the
care of the crew and passengers, their families and friends. The
support of the entire Crossair team is also of critical importance over
the coming days and weeks as we adjust to our loss. The ECC is staffed
by specialists from all areas of our company, assisted by other external

Communication with our Passengers and the Public
It is of vital importance that we communicate in an open and factual way
with the members of the public. You should only use the information that
is written on the fact sheets that will be available at your check-in
base and no personal opinions. We will pass you additional information
as it becomes available.

Flight Operations
Even though the investigation is in its initial phase, there are no
technical or navigational issues that have been immediately identified
to cast doubt on the integrity of the ARJ operations. It must be
acknowledged, however, that maintaining our professional standards,
after the shock of an accident, requires an increased level of alertness
and care on the flight deck. Even though our thoughts and prayers are
with our colleagues and their families at this time, we must all ensure
that our focus is directed to safe flight operations. We are convinced
that together we can maintain our flight network in a normal manner.
There will be flight operations and fleet representatives at each base
to support you with direct communication during this difficult time.

Philipp Hildebrand
Fleet Chief ARJ

Fredi Luginbühl
Vice President Fleet and Cockpit Personnel

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: Dr Know ]

26th Nov 2001, 20:40
Hello Dr Know,

would you be familiar with the state of play regarding EGPWS equipage on the Crossair ARJ fleet. Was -XM equipped?

26th Nov 2001, 21:15
negative, only four in the fleet have it

26th Nov 2001, 21:47

You can send your sympathy to Crossair at
[email protected]

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: spagiola ]

26th Nov 2001, 22:50
My Sincere condolences to all that were affected by this tragedy.
Another sad sad day for the aviaition industry.

The Guvnor
26th Nov 2001, 23:05
Swiss carrier Crossair says that the BAE Systems Avro RJ100 which crashed on approach to Zurich International Airport two days ago was not among the handful of aircraft on which the airline has installed Enhanced Ground-Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS).

Four aircraft in Crossair’s remaining Avro RJ fleet – comprising 15 RJ100s and four RJ85s – are fitted with the Honeywell EGPWS, although a spokesman for the airline says that it “foresees” installation on the rest.

EGPWS was developed to provide greater forewarning to pilots of a possible controlled-flight into terrain (CFIT) risks and eliminate the weaknesses inherent in regular GPWS avionics, which are primarily designed to alert crews to anomalies such as high-speed descent and glideslope deviations;
GPWS would not recognise the danger of a properly-configured landing approach towards high terrain.

The more advanced EGPWS uses a terrain-map database and cross-references the aircraft’s position and altitude against the height of the surrounding land, showing the information on the navigation display and colour-coding the terrain according to risk.

If the system calculates that the aircraft is on a potential collision course with the ground, it issues a visual and aural caution to the pilot 60s before impact, increasing the urgency of the alert when the escape window is down to 30s.

“Only four of our [Avro RJ] fleet are equipped with EGPWS so far,” says the Crossair spokesman. “The aircraft which crashed at Zurich was not one of them.”

As a precautionary measure, Switzerland’s Federal Office for Civil Aviation has suspended landing operations on Zurich’s runway 28 while investigators carry out calibration checks on the VOR/DME used by aircraft during the descent to the strip – although there is no evidence that the navaid was not functioning correctly.

Crossair flight LX3597 from Berlin-Tegel crashed during a night-time VOR approach to Zurich on 24 November. The carrier has now issued a passenger list confirming that 21 of the 28 passengers, plus three of the five crew members, were killed in the accident. Crossair has arranged an immediate initial
compensatory payment of SFr30,000 ($20,000) per passenger.

White Knight
26th Nov 2001, 23:18
Very sad accident indeed..

For info; the Avro RJ is not steam driven. Although there is no ECAM/EICAM blah blah, it is full EFIS PFD and ND, and Cat IIIb autoland capable. The ND gives a fantastic positional display in map mode, either with the GNS-X or the GNLU nav systems that the RJ comes with.
Also I've found it to be very capable in all wx, including heavy icing. Even with a higher N2 with ice protection on, the airbrake with landing configuration gives immense drag so steep approaches are no problem...
As other pilots familiar with Zurich know, the rwy 28 approach needs lot's of attention to fly it right.

Whatever the reason for the accident I hope it is found soon, and maybe we can learn something that will save an aircraft from future disaster.

Cisco Kid
26th Nov 2001, 23:47
I have no idea of the cause of this accident
nor would I disagree that an ILS is safer.
However I would say that this is not a particularly difficult non precision approach,it requires care and dilligence as always ; but anyone who finds it overly difficult has no place in a transport aircraft.

I am concerned that the Media "bandwagon" and the noise abatement lobby, not to mention politicians for their own dubious reasons are casting Rwy 28 approaches as unsafe and potentially hazardous..after all any approach can be challenging ;
with weather usually being the most influential factor.

my sincere condolences to all concerned.

27th Nov 2001, 01:05
Dear Cisco Kid, Last week I did an NDB/DME into an airport that I have flowen into hundreds of times. It went to a can of worms at MDA and I got a GPWS sink rate resulting in a missed app and shame faced apology to my fo, lots of extra paper work and a feeling that I was in the wrong job.I look forward to being a good as pilot as you are.

Cisco Kid
27th Nov 2001, 01:22
Dear Nick,you have got it all wrong! a go around as you performed is all part of doing the right thing. I hope that you´re not still in the "dark ages" and consider a screwed up landing better than a well executed go around,I ´ve done exactly the same thing myself,a bit embarrassing but nothing to be ashamed of.I hope your company supports this view otherwise it all gets a bit "flying club".

and no I don´t consider myself to be better than anyone else,but I do know my limitations.Seems like you do too.

Can´t we try to stay on topic.

Cheers Cisco.

27th Nov 2001, 01:34
Somebody once said that pilots are the worst accident witnesses. We never report what we observe, instead we report what we think happened, why it happened, and who was to blame. Here (PPRUNE) we do the same without even having seen the accident. We base our conclusions (often) largely on the media reports. At any other time we are extremely wary of what they report.

Now, what am i getting at? Pre Milan I did not pay much attention to this practise. Post Milan, I found some premature remarks/accusations/conclusions regarding my deceased colleagues to be very disturbing. Painful. Even when I knew this was not the intention of the person posting.

I do NOT mean to point my finger at anyone in particular. Just be aware that your remark may have a much bigger impact that you actually thought.

My deepest sympathy to all involved, and especially the Crossair crew, who for the next few days will have to do a professional job while carrying this accident in the back of their heads. I know it's hard.

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: Scando ]

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: Scando ]

27th Nov 2001, 02:34
Definitely wasn't trying to criticise anything 'steam driven'- as has been pointed out (cheers guys) I found it hard enough to do in an airbus with all the assistance it can give! I have the utmost respect for you chaps.
Cisco Kid - anyone who finds it overly difficult has no place in a transport aircraft - a sweeping statement I'm afraid & not a very clever one.
Enough Said.
Nick Heff - those that have & there'll be those that will. I'm not looking forward to the day :eek:
You are right though Cisco - needs to be on topic. Sorry. ;)
(Edited for the usual spelling mistakes)

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: wow400 ]

27th Nov 2001, 03:53
For everybody not flying an RJ and/or ZRH airport, Dagger Dirk was giving a good point.

I personally think that during these days we should limit our opinions respecting the people died and the people working there.

Someone here is giving misunderstanding pilot techniques suggestions: investigations will give us the results.

There will be enough time to discuss technically....

My condolences.


Hand Solo
27th Nov 2001, 04:05
If anyones interested the BBC News Online website is quoting this thread verbatim in its coverage.

Secret Squirrel
27th Nov 2001, 04:08
Obviously, condolences to the families of Pax and crew. Bearing in mind Scando's comments I offer this;

My CTC once remarked to me that the RJ is an easy aircraft to fly but a difficult one to operate. In the nearly four years I have been on it I must say that he has hit the nail on the head. I'm not taking anything away from the crew when I say this and neither am I heralding our prowess. It is a fact, no more, no less.

Thus, I was very interested to read the post by Dr Know concerning, in particular, the technical deficiencies of the aircraft in question. Two things struck me:

Firstly, the APU. Ever THE most unreliable piece of kit on the aircraft and the bane of our aviation lives. Some of you may wonder, "No APU, big deal!". Unfortunately, it can be on the RJ. The jokes about the aircraft being equipped with five APU's is not totally without foundation. If you have no APU and you are making an approach in icing conditions (i.e. anything below 11 degrees centigrade!) the mucking about you have to do on short finals is nothing short of dangerous. What is more you have to be conscious of the need to do it all the way down the approach because if you forget and you need to go-around you may not have enough power with bleed air being taken for both eng air and eng ant-ice circuits. Suffice to say that this is a very distracting procedure which has to be done 300' before decision and leaves a lot to be desired in the design stage. However, I must stress that it doesn't actually say that the APU was U/S. In my company, however, a failure to start twice usually means an A.D.D. for anything up to a month.

Secondly, the auto-pressurisation. If this aircraft was built in 1996 I can only assume that it had a non digital type. When this type goes wrong - which in all fairness does not happen very often (twice in my career) the NHP's attention is constantly directed aloft to keep adjusting the cabin ROD. That includes all the way down the approach!

In isolation these two technical difficulties are inconsequential but add them together and they offer a potential for disaster, believe me.

Although I am totally biased because I am a pilot I would go so far as to say that if my suspicions are correct then the blame should be laid firstly on the door of BAE whose MEL is appalling and needs a cumulative points system to stop aircraft flying with certain defects together in certain conditions; and secondly, at the foot of the management of Crossair who, like so many other companies - mine included - who run RJ's - don't fully understand that we NEED our fifth APU! Especially in winter.

Needless to say that the crew will still be blamed because, as was shown to be the case in the Kegworth disaster, even the mere hint of culpability of a multinational is enough to see any Accident Investigation Board suffocating in a sea of legal writs.

I realise that I may be vilified for offering conjecture without the full facts but anyone who has flown or still flies this type will know exactly what I am talking about - even if I don't!.

Regards SS.

Dr Know
27th Nov 2001, 13:10
Sorry for taking so long to answer your question, It has been a while but no it was not equiped with EGPWS, the only RJ's in the LX fleet with EGPWS are HB-IYX, IYW, IYZ, IYY. Recal a number of 4. There might be one more.

SS I like your explanation. There is also the thing about the APU required to keep the outflow vavle open for pressurisation system.
In short No APU NO GO!

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: Dr Know ]

27th Nov 2001, 14:42
Dr DON'T Know..

You are totally wrong about the APU being a no go item. You obviously don't know the BAe146/RJ system and therefore should not comment.

If the APU is inop, the No. 4 Eng Air is left on to provide power to the outflow valves and keep them open.

Dr Know
27th Nov 2001, 20:08
Snoopy 2! Don't be such a wise ass!

I do know the system A&& H*le! It was just a comment saying that it should be considered as no go item. I have flown the aircraft many a times without an APU (having worked for LX) In adverse weather it is, as SS has explaind a very helpfull tool. So if you don't get that, please don't comment!
See you next time!

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: Dr Know ]

Hooking Fell
28th Nov 2001, 04:24
Hold at Saffa:

I have no "pro SR/anti LX" agenda, as you suggest.

In fact, Swiss air lines have had three crashes over the last three years. SR at Halifax, LX two at ZRH.

These are - like it or not - facts, my friend.

A more charitable interpretation of these facts is that such a record is fast approaching third world standards.

Secret Squirrel
28th Nov 2001, 07:15
I think you got ahead of yourself there snoop. I understood the good doctor. The problem, of course, lies in the switching at such a critical time: In all you have to switch NINE switches: 2 x packs; recirc valve; wing and tail ant-ice; inner wing de-ice; and three eng airs...phew! Oh, and don't forget to leave the pressurisation at land alt +500.

Anyway, pure conjecture as I say and by no means the only factor I dare say. I too second these calls to stop sacrificing safety for the sake of a good night's sleep for the oportunists who buy houses within five miles of extended runway centerlines.

We used to have to do this approach in the simulator but we never did it with problems. I think many of us - me included - would have had a tough time with so many distractions.

28th Nov 2001, 19:33

seeing as you saw fit to tell the Pprune audience what a lousy product we have here at Air Transport Intelligence (www.rati.com) we'd appreciate it if you would at least also tell them when you are breaking our copyright by republishing our news material. Even better, we'd appreciate it if you didn't do that at all. Tks.

29th Nov 2001, 04:13
Yep, I notice he never gives credit for all those articles he cuts and pastes.
The fan club still love him though.

29th Nov 2001, 13:21
First Of all my condolences to the families and collegues of the victimes. It is a very sad thing to happen.

I had second thoughts about posting something here because a lot of you seem to be very sensitive... the swissair/crossair saga... critisism on the 146/RJ

I too fly the jumbolino and I love it!! I always say: It looks like an eagle but flies like a chicken! AS A JOKE... anyway...

What I remember of my last OPC is the Non-Prec. APP. Since I've never flown other types of airliners I can only speak for the RJ. But in the AVRO, performing a non-pec.app before the descent to MDA you select the G/A altitude, descent with V/S and press the ALT HOLD when reaching the MDA. In Icing conditions it can be easy to forget the last part if you encounter a Icing problem with subsequent Icing cautions that are almost standard on the RJ. But in this case should the GPWS even give the TERRAIN warning! Not?

I hope that we soon get the resluts of the boxes so we all can learn something more!

Happy and Safe landings,

Hooking Fell
29th Nov 2001, 15:09

With undercarriage down (as was case here), GPWS won't give Terrain! warning.

Capt PPRuNe
29th Nov 2001, 21:55
Sorry but we have passed the 100 replies mark and this thread now has to close. Feel free to continue on a MkII thread.

Ref The Guvnor posting articles without copyright, he has been warned about this several times and will suffer the usual ban unless he complies with the rules. For those of you not familiar with the PPRuNe Home Page there is a link to a news service that shows many different sources of news and is continually updated. Go to the PPRune Home Page (http://www.pprune.org) and select 'Latest news' (http://www.pprune.org/go.php?go=/pub/news.htm) from the menu item on the left near the bottom.