China Airlines Flight 605

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
China Airlines Flight 605
Untitled (China Airlines) Boeing 747-409 B-165 (23222709894).jpg
B-165 at Kai Tak Airport some days after the accident
Accident summary
Date 4 November 1993
Summary Runway overrun, pilot error
Site Kai Tak International Airport, Hong Kong
22°19′06″N 114°11′51″E / 22.3183°N 114.1976°E / 22.3183; 114.1976Coordinates: 22°19′06″N 114°11′51″E / 22.3183°N 114.1976°E / 22.3183; 114.1976
Passengers 374
Crew 22
Fatalities 0
Injuries (non-fatal) 23
Survivors 396 (All)
Aircraft type Boeing 747-409
Operator China Airlines
Registration B-165
Flight origin Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, Taipei, Republic of China
Destination Kai Tak International Airport, British 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.


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 (280 km/h), following an IGS runway 13 approach. Tropical Storm Ira was generating 20-knot (37 km/h) crosswinds on that runway, gusting to 38 knots (70 km/h), 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 seconds 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 overrun 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.


Immediately after the aircraft came to rest in the water, crew members ensured that all passengers donned life jackets and evacuated onto eight of the ten main deck emergency exits. These exits (as on all 747s) are equipped with inflatable evacuation slide/rafts for ditching emergencies. The passenger cabin remained completely above water during the evacuation, although eventually sinking tail-first. Additional damage to the nose and first-class cabin was noted. There were 23 minor injuries among passengers and crew. The plane was written off as a total hull loss. The plane's vertical stabilizer 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] The China Airlines lettering and the Chinese characters were removed, as was part of the livery on the fuselage, to conceal the identity of the aircraft as belonging to China Airlines. After the accident, the aircraft was stored near the HAECO building for use in firefighting practice.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]