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Turkish airliner crashes at Schiphol

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Turkish airliner crashes at Schiphol

Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:41
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snoozer ...

wouldn't the aircraft then be 420' (14 x 30') lower than the pilots thought it was?
Nope - t'other way I think .......

Last edited by triton140; 26th Feb 2009 at 23:15.
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:47
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On previous accident threads, about 98% of the accident cause & sequence theories put forward on PPRuNe were made obsolete by FDR and CVR data.

I bet it will be the same here.
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:49
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Having looked at the ADS-B Google Earth track in more detail I start to think the -200ft altitude value reported at the crash site can be an instrument error caused by the impact. The QNH at the time was 1027 which implies about 370 ft height difference to the track's readings which are referenced to QNH 1013. This is an excellent fit with the airplane's level-out altitude reported at 1625 ft, which applying the 370 ft correction fits exactly with the 2000 ft indicated on the approach chart.

Still, for some reason, after the FAF, 6.2 miles out (EH621) the track shows that the airplane descended with up to 1300 fpm instead of the about 600-700 fpm indicated on the approach chart.

Another thought is that the crew apparently believed they had engine power available. Otherwise, if they had been aware of a total power loss, a natural option would have been to turn slightly left where there was a much larger and more open field and no roads increasing the hazards.

Well.. speculation... FDR will tell.

Last edited by snowfalcon2; 26th Feb 2009 at 23:50. Reason: rewrite due to correction of the altitude calculations
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:55
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I read on some newspaper article about this ominous 757
Nothing ominous, but the 757 is normally classified as a Heavy, despite it being under the 136,000kg limit.

Here's the excerpt from the Australian AIP:

Note: B757 and H47 (Chinook) are categorised Heavy (H) when the following aircraft is categorised either Medium (M) or Light (L) and categorised Medium(M) when the preceding aircraft is categorised Heavy (H).
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:56
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The folks at OpenATC.com have now put screenshots up from various viewing angles: OpenATC.com recording of THY1951 crash
Old 26th Feb 2009, 22:56
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snoozer -

As an 'SLF' as you put it, may I suggest you continue to read what's posted here by those that are more familiar with possible reasons for this accident. I know it's hard to determine who's "more familiar", but you admit that you're an SLF.

Regarding your remarks about go-around capabilities for this aircraft, or any aircraft for that matter, it is not a difficult maneuver for professional pilots as they perform that in the simulator countless times before they ever set foot in a real airplane. And then, they have no doubt done a few there as well.
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 23:06
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I would like to put the Investigation Board's chairman Mr van Vollenhoven's remarks into perspective.

He is NOT an investigator nor an aviation professional.
He is a member of the royal family (married to the Queen's sister) and somehow it seems to be a honorary job.
It also seems to me that he enjoys being in the spotlight.
Nevertheless he has done it for quite some time and is not much criticized.
For those that do not know Mr van Vollenhoven:

The "Mr" is not a generic gender title. In Dutch, this signifies a Masters degree in Law. He also happens to be a University Professor (in Risk Management and independent investigation into Government Policy) but that part of his title is normally not mentioned. He's not a dumb fellow. Not by a fair margin.

He's been busy with transport safety since at least the last 25 years and it is through his efforts that the Netherlands has a completely independent board of investigation for transport accidents - the Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid (OVV), which is the successor of the Raad voor Transportveiligheid (RvTV). This board is, by law, tasked with investigating airline accidents for the sole purpose of making air transport safer. The results of these investigations may not be, under any circumstances, used for criminal/civil lawsuits and the like. That's why you see the Attorney General starting its own, independent investigation right now.

The OVV can be thought of as the US NTSB but where the NTSB is limited to investigating transport accidents, the scope of the OVV is far wider. They can basically investigate any accident as and when they please, although by law they have to investigate certain types of accidents, including airline accidents. And their conclusions are not ignored. For example, an earlier investigation by the Raad, into the fire in the asylum seekers cell complex at Schiphol, where 11 people died, led to the resignation of two cabinet ministers.

To dismiss his role as head of the board as honorary because he happens to be a Royal Family member and enjoys being in the spotlight is NOT appropriate. He earned that position.

Although I do question some of the statements he made. After visiting the accident site, at least 24 hours after the crash, he did not even know the distance from the site to the threshold.

Oh yes, and he happens to be married to the sister of the Queen. Is that relevant? Probably not anymore, although in the past it might have given him easier access to the higher levels of government.

Last edited by BackPacker; 26th Feb 2009 at 23:36.
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 23:07
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With all respect sir,
Your calculations regarding the air pressure are upside down, and you must not use 30' but 27' in the calculation.
Please feel free to read these pages, but may I ask you kindly to refrain from actively participating if you do not posses a commercial Pilot licence?
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Old 26th Feb 2009, 23:40
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Angel Airspeed fade during approach

To FA10....you bring up some good issues about distractions during final approach and a gradual and unnoticed loss of airspeed leading to a stall...

One is reminded of the C-5 crash at Dover recently...apparently they ran out of airspeed while distracted by a serious engine thrust issue....Aviate...Communicate...navigate ! (my error: Aviate/Navigate/ communicate !). Thx to Flight Detent for pointing this out.

Last edited by averow; 27th Feb 2009 at 03:02. Reason: Content error !
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 00:08
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Hi averow....

I always thought it was "Aviate...navigate....communicate"


with A/T ARM selected, engaged or not, there is minimum speed protection in the B737NG.

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Old 27th Feb 2009, 00:23
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Re: Your post #518. Sometimes its hard to get through to those poor souls who lack experience isn't it!!
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 00:49
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the issue with the autothrottle seems plausible -
fully configured at 3nm in approx. 1000ft with F30 and being distracted by heavy training on the flight deck on final approach, speed starts dropping and nobody realises
It's certainly occurred to me that distraction might have played a part... (there are usually 3 fairly discrete errors (human or mechanical) that make an accident happen)

Without one of them, sometimes the situation is not even recognised as '..an accident opportunity'.

I think someone earlier wondered whether any stats had been produced on 'non-standard cockpit crew complements' contributing to aircraft accidents / incidents?


I would agree with Dani, that this was a short hard landing... in 'his' terms, though not with everything he has said.

The a/c was descending at 'nominal' descent rates and flying slow, certainly not fully stalled, but mushing along short of thrust to arrest the descent rate...
The muddy field possibly helped some sections to remain intact and minimise instantaneous vertical 'G' but contributed to very high longitudinal decelerations.

As far as survivability theory goes, we don't yet know for sure where the Boeing personnel where, or the distribution of serious injury cases throughout the cabin

Last edited by HarryMann; 27th Feb 2009 at 01:10.
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 01:02
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ADS-B plot


Indeed very interesting piece of information.
Not a 737 jockey myself, but the app looked fairly normal until 600ft (09.25.08Z), in regards to glide path and speed.

I`d speculate that something odd happened just afterwards, as the speed starts to decay. I see the following happening: Down to 600ft all working well and aircraft being flown with A/P and A/T engaged. Shortly afterwards, around 500ft the automatics are disengaged and for some unknown reason(s) proper speed management was not maintained, or maybe they assumed the A/T was still engaged when it was not. The mistake was only noticed very late down the approach and they were caught without options on a low energy/low altitude scenario. Perhaps they even tried to initiate a GA (some survivors stated a sudden increase in engine power shortly before impact, if I recall correctly ) and hit the tail in the process.


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Old 27th Feb 2009, 01:04
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Total noob here sorry...

In the comms log it says:
"OK for ILS 1-8 right", which the news report says is an instruction to intercept an electronic beam to guide it to the runway.

Is it possible there was a problem after this hookup was complete/incomplete, and is what put it off course?

Sorry if this is a dumb question.

Thanks in advance
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 02:07
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Originally Posted by jojoxy
I don't want to suggest it hit wake turbulence, I merely stumbled over a rumor (a 757 possibly preceding the crashed plane) on this board, which became a so called fact on some news sites, and in return became a 'fact' here.

Some posters based their theory of wake turbulence on this.
I'm asking if there is any reliable source to this, as it seemed a bit like a rumor was quoted and quoted again and became a fact in the process.
Aircraft hit wake turbulence every day. They don't fall out of the sky because of it. If you are following behind, wake turbulence causes an airliner to roll to the left or right. That didn't happen here. If you cross it at angle, you get a momentary bump or jolt and continue on..... No big deal.

These are the facts as I see them:

1) Passengers reported turbulence just before landing. This suggests the aircraft experienced a stall buffet or pre-stall buffet close to the ground. This means the airspeed was too slow. We don't know why, but there are lots of reasons it could happen. Believe it or not, engine failure is not a reason to loose airspeed. It is every pilot's duty to monitor airspeed at all times, and if necessary, maintain airspeed by lowering the nose. You don't need power to maintain airspeed. Power certainly helps if you also want to maintain altitude.

2) Passengers said the aircraft suddenly dropped. Some of them then surmise that the aircraft must have run out of fuel. This is because, in their limited knowledge, nothing else could have caused the aircraft to drop. (Of course everyone, and their dog, runs with this idea, even though there were no calls to ATC regarding a fuel problem)

3) Other, more astute passengers, gave conflicting information. They say the aircraft dropped, but they also heard increased engine noises. This was probably the pilots adding power in reaction to the initial stall warnings.

4) Witnesses on the ground describe nose high attitude, followed by a dive to the ground.

5) The aircraft hit the ground tail first in a high rate of descent with low forward speed. This is obvious from the photos of the crash scene.

When the FDR and CVR information is released, I expect that it will confirm a low altitude stall, or approach to stall, with an incorrect or incomplete stall recovery.

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Old 27th Feb 2009, 02:35
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On the 757 "rumour":
Track Flight Status for (NW) Northwest Airlines 60

The source for the rumour is either the mass of folks parked at AMS with ample time to study their surroundings, or the LiveATC scanner, where NW60 is the last aircraft handed off to tower before the flight in question.

Oh, and forgetting to set the altimeter? We're not talking about the Thunderbirds here.
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 02:47
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The pushing button TOGA instead of button AT/OFF is reason for confusion on low altitude. Sometimes it happens on 737. May be it was source for event?
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 04:24
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Smile Info in pictures

I'm surprised nobody has done this yet, but here goes. I can eliminate some of the huffing and puffing and speculating over distances with a couple of maps I drew together in Google Earth and some pointers to photos with landmarks. The maps are plan view (0 tilt) and I checked them against some known landmarks(independently verified to 0.001 minute GPS precision) for heading and distance.

TC-JGE Crash Overview Orientation is South UP (180) How do I know this is where? It's on the front page of Schiphol's website. "...along the A9 motorway near the Rottepolderplein in the village of Haarlemmerliede." Rottepolderplein is the name of the motorway junction of A9/A200/N205. At the top is the apron of 18R with a 747 on short final providing scale. At the bottom, a red aircraft labeled "Nose" representing the crash site. The line is coming from the row of trees lining the edge of the field and is approx. 220m long. The crash site is 1950m from the top of the piano keys.

TC-JGE Crash site. Orientation is runway heading (183) Important landmarks: Berm in middle of field, Barn/house just North of East, House to SE, A9/A220 junction to NW with road signs, Zwanenburgdijk crossing at South, Same line.

Other measurements: Trees to berm 235m, Across field to storage site with a bunch of (shipping containers?) 455m, To next set of trees 560m. With the exception of the last, these only get longer if he's on a heading to encroach on 18C, otherwise they're shorter.

The Fire Brigade at Schiphol has the best set of pictures on the ground. Good for determining the position of the aircraft in the field.

Also important to this is the video available on YouTube, the police helicopter video. It's not as good as the original from nos.nl, but the mods deleted the post with that link. The eye catches the movement of regular features like the divot the tail carved in the mud. Looks like about 2 1/2 plane lengths to stop. Screenshots Oblique and full views show that foreshortening via telephoto isn't much of an issue for guesing relative distance.Far view from other side shows relationship to road where trees are and berm with helos for additional scale.

With this large image of engines with route signs in background and this pic which shows the port engine (the one with the trashed cowling) with the SE house in the background we can sort of triangulate where they ended up.

BTW Here's the pic where the rescue squad got into the cockpit. It doesn't look like the roof is hacked any more than it was with the piece of support popping out. It does look like the cockpit and first class acted like a ground anchor. That's what, 5 feet of crush and 10 feet out of alignment?
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 04:28
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When the FDR and CVR information is released, I expect that it will confirm a low altitude stall, or approach to stall, with an incorrect or incomplete stall recovery.
Roger that... Lost_in _Saigon

Except that the LP Fans don't look like they were under much power so I wonder if extra power was applied or if some passengers who experienced a nose up attitude assumed this was connected with application of thrust ? People's minds play tricks.

I found a reference that the crashed aircraft was grounded on Feb 23 after the crew detected a problem with the "Master Caution Light" just before take off.

Crash jet was grounded for repairs-27 February, 2009

What was that about ?
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Old 27th Feb 2009, 04:52
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The "non-moving thrust levers" seem to be a problem for you and yet the DC8-40 series did not have moving throttles. If I recall (been a long time but I have the manuals somewhere), no DC8 had moving throttles except when they were engaged in a "quasi" speed mode during an "auto" approach, which, I think you'll agree, was a very ropey experience at best especially on the short '8's. Not sure of the 707 but someone here will know and can tell us. I flew it on the Atlantic for a number of years and we were always, always tweaking the EPRs in response to mild speed excursions, (wave action, temperature changes and of course, weight changes).

The non-moving thrust levers on the bus are a non-issue. Those who are most vocal about it haven't flown the airplane or if they have, not for long. It just isn't an issue for experienced crews and neither is the fbw.

Habsheim isn't relevant and the many conspiracy theories are nonsense. You yourself know what acceleration capability to expect of a turbine engine at idle thrust and an angle of attack of 15deg with energy rapidly reducing and the airplane at 30ft above ground. It wasn't computers, fbw or a nefarious cabal of Airbus executives and designers that "explain" Habsheim - it is Newton, in 1687.

Also, the steam gauges on the early '8's and 727's such as the three-pointer altimeter killed a lot of people before they realized that design could be easily misread. A CFIT accident today is almost always human error, SOPs, training or culture.

I loved the DC8 - beautiful airplane which rewarded a fine hand (and equally rewarded a poor hand!), but I'll take the 320/340 series any day - it's simply a far, far better design, and the next one, (787?) will be that much better.

As for pilots losing flying ability and SA? That's a cockpit discipline, experience and a training issue, (and perhaps a hiring and safety culture issue), not an ergonomic/human factors issue. I would even suggest that it is a professional matter if one is uncomfortable hand-flying an airplane but does nothing about it.

If the airplane was as difficult or obscure to fly and operate as you and others claim, the accident rate would reflect it.

I've read all the posts and I tend to believe there is an autothrottle issue here coupled with a high-workload cockpit but I remain open to fuel issues. As for how it hit the ground, its absolutely immaterial and discussion/argument about how it did is irrelevant bordering at times on the morbid, and a diversion for those too impatient to wait for the recorders to be read.

Last edited by PJ2; 27th Feb 2009 at 05:41.
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