Atlasjet Flight 4203
|Date||November 30, 2007|
|Summary||Pilot error (Controlled flight into terrain)|
|Site||Near Keçiborlu, Turkey
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-83|
|Flight origin||Atatürk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey|
|Destination||Süleyman Demirel Airport, Isparta, Turkey|
Atlasjet Flight 4203 was a scheduled flight from Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport to Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport in Isparta, Turkey. On November 30, 2007 it crashed outside the town of Keçiborlu, 18 km (11 mi) from Isparta at around 01:36 EET (23:36 UTC on November 29). The flight took off from Istanbul at 00:50 EET with 57 people on board, including a six-week old baby which had not been counted on departure from the airport. Atlasjet Airline's CEO Tuncay Doganer reported that no one had survived the crash.
Local officials said the plane had broken into two pieces, with its fuselage and rear landing in different places. The Anadolu Agency news service said the plane's wings and engine were at the top of a hill while the fuselage was 150 m (500 ft) lower. A local reporter at the scene described luggage and debris strewn across a large area, which police have cordoned off. It was reported that the plane crashed away from the typical flight path. Officials are confused as to how the plane ended up there.
Investigators found the two black boxes (the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder) during the afternoon of the day of the crash. Weather conditions were good at the time of the flight, with a visibility of 12 kilometres (7.5 mi), and the aircraft had no known technical issues. The pilots were experienced and had just come out of a routine training session a few days before the accident, as reported by the Anatolian News Agency. Speculation on the quality of technical attention the aircraft received by World Focus Airlines received major attention by the Turkish media.
Upon investigation of the black box of the aircraft in Lufthansa laboratories, the cockpit voice recorder device was found to have been inoperative for the 9 days leading up to the accident, in contravention of regulations which specify that it must be made operable within 72 hours of the fault being discovered. In addition, the flight data recorder was not working properly and only contained 15 minutes of flight data. Analyzing the available data from the flight data recorder, the authorities declared that the accident was caused by pilot error as a result of the condition known as spatial disorientation. The pilot is believed to have lost the sight of line for the horizon and instead of trusting the flight instruments, diverted the aircraft to the route where the crash occurred.
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