China Airlines Flight 605

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China Airlines Flight 605
Accident summary
Date 4 November 1993
Summary Overran runway, pilot error (failure to initiate mandatory missed approach procedure when severe airspeed fluctuations were observed)
Site Kai Tak International Airport, Hong Kong
Passengers 374
Crew 22
Injuries (non-fatal) 23
Fatalities 0
Survivors 396 (All)
Aircraft type Boeing 747-409
Operator China Airlines
Registration B-165
Flight origin Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
Destination Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

China Airlines Flight 605 (callsign "Dynasty 605") was a daily non-stop flight departing from Taipei at 6:30 a.m. and arriving at Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong at 7:00 a.m. local time. On November 4, 1993, the plane crashed after overrunning the runway on landing during a storm.[1] It was the first major loss of a Boeing 747-400.

Accident[edit]

Flight 605, a Boeing 747-400, touched down more than 2,100 feet (640 m) past the runway's displaced threshold, at a speed of 150 knots, following an IGS runway 13 approach. Tropical Storm Ira was generating 20 knot crosswinds on that runway, gusting to 38 knots, from a heading of 070 degrees. [2]

The pilots received several computer-generated wind shear and glide slope deviation warnings, and observed severe airspeed fluctuations, during the last mile before touchdown. The auto brakes were set at only the number two level and then were turned off moments after touchdown, when the Captain elected to use manual braking and thrust reversal. The speedbrakes were extended momentarily, but then retracted. This caused the plane to "float," making the brakes ineffective until the speed brakes were extended again.

The Captain deliberately turned the plane to the left when he realized the plane would go off the end of the runway, and into the approach lighting system (ALS) for runway 31. That action caused a "ground loop", making the plane slide off the left side of the runway into Victoria Harbour, thereby preventing a collision with the ALS for runway 31. It finally came to rest in shallow water, with a heading of almost 180 degrees out from the direction of runway 13.

A British Airways pilot had refused to make the approach to Kai Tak runway 13 minutes before the CAL 605 Captain decided to attempt it.

The investigation indicated that the accident was caused by the Captain's failure to initiate the mandatory missed approach procedure when he observed the severe airspeed fluctuations, combined with the wind shear and glide slope deviation alerts.

Aftermath[edit]

Immediately after the aircraft became submerged in water, crewmembers ensured that all passengers put on life-jackets and evacuated onto eight of the ten main deck emergency exits. These exits (as on all 747's) are specifically equipped with inflatable evacuation slide/rafts for ditching emergencies. The passenger cabin remained completely above water during the evacuation, although eventually sank tail first. Additional damage to the nose and first-class cabin was noted. There were 23 minor injuries among passengers or crew and the plane was written off as a total hull loss. The vertical stabilizer on the plane interfered with the accuracy of the ILS signals for runway 31, so it was removed with dynamite shortly after the crash. That permitted airliners to make safe ILS approaches whenever the wind patterns mandated the use of runway 31 (the reciprocal direction of runway 13).[3] In addition, the China Airlines lettering and the Chinese letters were removed, as was part of the livery on the fuselage, in order to make it harder to identify the crashed aircraft as belonging to China Airlines. After the accident, the aircraft was stored by the HAECO building to be used for firefighting practice.

China Airlines continues to operate Flight 605 from Taipei to Hong Kong.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°19′06″N 114°11′51″E / 22.3183°N 114.1976°E / 22.3183; 114.1976