Kam Air Flight 904
|Date||February 3, 2005|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-242|
|Flight origin||Herat Airport|
|Destination||Kabul International Airport|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
Kam Air Flight 904 was involved in a fatal aviation accident over the Pamir mountains of Afghanistan in February 2005. The incident took place shortly after 4:00 p.m.local time (UTC+4:30) on February 3, when a Kam Air Boeing 737-200 jet aircraft operated by Phoenix Aviation went missing in Afghanistan during a domestic flight from the western city of Herat to the capital Kabul. The crash is the deadliest air disaster in the history of Afghanistan.
The aircraft lost communication during the worst winter snowstorm in 5 years. The cause of the loss of communication, and the subsequent crash, is presently unknown. Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah stated that his guerrilla fighters had not shot down the plane and expressed sadness at the crash. Air traffic control for the Kabul area is provided by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Near to Kabul is Bagram Air Base, which has been in control of the U.S. military forces. It was possible for flight 904 to have diverted and land at Bagram Air Base instead of Kabul International Airport.
A rescue operation was launched under atrocious weather conditions by the ISAF and Afghan National Army (ANA), and the tail of the plane was sighted from two Dutch Apache helicopters at around 9:30 a.m. UTC.
The ISAF made numerous unsuccessful rescue attempts by helicopters. When those attempts failed the Afghan Ministry of Defense ordered the ANA's Central Corps to assemble a team to attempt a rescue of victims presumed to be alive. The Afghan National Army Commando responded on foot but were forced leave due to a snowstorm. Fourth day from the crash ISAF rescue team was able to reach the crashsite and confirmed all passenger and crewmen dead.
The crash site was at an altitude of 11,000 feet on the peak of the Chaperi Mountain, 20 miles east of the Afghan capital of Kabul.
It was discovered that all 104 passenger and crew on board were killed, and the plane was completely destroyed. The flight data recorder had been found and turned over to US National Transportation Safety Board analysis. The cockpit voice recorder which would confirm or deny the alleged request and denial to land at Bagram Air Base has not been located.
Of the 104 people on board, 96 were passengers and eight were crew. At least 25 were foreign nationals: 9 Turkish, 6 Americans, 4 Russians, 3 Italians, 1 Dutch, and 1 Iranian, as well as the first officer, who held dual citizenship in Canada and Russia. According to reports, the Russians were crew members, the Turkish were civilians working for Turkey-based firms, and the Italians included an architect working for the United Nations Andrea Pollastri, as well as another Italian civilian and a navy captain. Three of the six Americans on board were women working for the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based NGO Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and one was a Dutch water resources engineer, team-leader for a development project in the western basins.
Kam Air is a private airline established in 2003 operating a fleet of leased Boeing and Antonov aircraft on both domestic and international routes. The plane that crashed during flight 904 was a Boeing 737-200 registered EX-037, which was originally delivered to Nordair as C-GNDR in 1980. It had been leased by Kam Air and operated by Phoenix Aviation, a firm based at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
- Controlled flight into terrain
- Pamir Airways Flight 112 where the plane was lost in very poor weather conditions on approach to Kabul International Airport, killing all 43 on board.
- U.S. Department of Defense - Afghan National Army Assists in Plane Crash Aftermath, By Sgt. 1st Class Mack Davis, USA Special to American Forces Press Service
- Univ of Denver Grad on Flight 904
- CBS report
- Reuters Reports
- Black Box given to US NTSB
- Owners of Afghan crash plane blame weather
- Report of Robert Benzon NSTB investigator
- CHERI GHAR CRASH SITE- ISAF Mirror April 2005