Asiana Airlines Flight 991
HL7604, the aircraft involved, taken at Los Angeles International Airport in January 2011.
|Date||28 July 2011|
|Summary||Impacted sea following in-flight uncontained cargo fire|
|Site||112 kilometers west of Jeju Island, South Korea
|Aircraft type||Boeing 747-48EF/SCD|
|Operator||Asiana Airlines Cargo|
|Flight origin||Incheon International Airport|
|Destination||Shanghai Pudong International Airport|
Asiana Airlines Cargo Flight 991 (OZ991, AAR991) was a cargo flight which crashed into the Korea Strait on 28 July 2011. The two crew members aboard died. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 747-400F freighter, was operating Asiana Airlines' scheduled international cargo service from Incheon International Airport, South Korea to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China. The crash occurred off the coast of Jeju Island after the crew reported a fire in the cargo compartment and had been attempting to divert to Jeju International Airport.
The aircraft that was involved in the accident was a Boeing 747-48EF, registered HL7604, which was built in 2006. The aircraft had flown more than 29000 flight hours over about 5000 cycles and was powered by four General Electric CF6-80C3 engines.
Asiana Flight 991 departed Incheon International Airport at 16:47 UTC on 27 July 2011 (2:47 AM on 28 July 2011 local time), bound for Shanghai Pudong International Airport. At 4:03 AM, the crew reported a fire and diverted to Jeju Airport for an emergency landing. Radio contact was lost with the aircraft at 4:11AM when it is believed the aircraft crashed 107 kilometers (66 mi) South-West of Jeju Island.
The captain of the flight was 52-year-old Choi Sang-gi while the first officer was 44-year-old Lee Jeong-woong; together, the two had over 19,000 hours of flight time.
The flight to Shanghai was loaded with 58 tonnes (57 long tons; 64 short tons) of cargo; 90% of the freight was standard cargo, semi-conductors, mobile phones, liquid crystal displays, and light-emitting diodes. The remainder included 400 kg (880 lb) of lithium batteries, paint, resin solutions and other liquids.
Search and rescue operations conducted by the Republic of Korea Coast Guard recovered parts of the aircraft within a day of the crash, but had not located the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The search effort involved a total of ten ships from the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration, as well as three helicopters. Nippon Salvage Company of Japan was contracted to provide assistance during the search. The South Korean government also requested the assistance of Singapore and the U.S. Navy in searching for the FDR and CVR. The search was briefly halted on 3 August due to an approaching typhoon, and resumed by 5 August.
On 17 August 2011, the search team identified the location of 39 parts of the aircraft, including the tail section which was expected to contain the FDR and CVR. The mounting rack for the two black boxes was still attached to the recovered tail section, but the boxes themselves had broken off and were never found. The wreckage of the aircraft was reached in late October 2011, and the bodies of the two crewmembers were recovered on 29 October. The investigation eventually revealed extensive fire damage in the hold, including underneath the cockpit, and that the aircraft crashed 18 minutes after the fire was first detected.
According to Asiana, the crash of Flight 991 led to damages to the airline of about $190 million U.S. (200.4 billion won). In 2012, the International Civil Aviation Organization considered applying new safety standards to air carriage of lithium batteries as a result of this crash and the crash of UPS Airlines Flight 6 in Dubai after a fire.
The Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (ARAIB) determined that a fire developed on or near the pallets containing dangerous goods but no physical evidence of the cause of the fire was found. The fire rapidly escalated to become large and uncontained. Without the data from the black boxes, the board was unable to determine exactly what took place in the cockpit during the fire or what happened with the aircraft after the last radio communication, but it was unlikely that the crew would have been able to extinguish the fire nor safely land the plane in the time that they had. It was not determined to exactly what extent the aircraft had been damaged or whether it had disintegrated prior to impact, but there was evidence of cargo containers striking the wings in flight, suggesting that at the very least the fire had caused some portions of the fuselage to separate from the aircraft in midair.
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- Cha, Seonjin; Park, Kyunghee (28 July 2011). "Asiana Boeing 747 Freighter Crashes in South Korean Waters". Bloomberg.
- Siva Govindasamy (28 July 2011). "Asiana Confirms B747-400F Missing in Sea Off South Korea". Flight Global.
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- David Kaminski-Morrow (26 September 2012). "Fire brought down Asiana 747F in just 18min". Flight Global. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- "Asiana counts financial cost of 747 loss". Flight Global. 28 July 2011. Archived from the original on 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
|Photos of HL7604 at Airliners.net|