China Airlines Flight 676
|Date||16 February 1998|
|Summary||Crash on approach due to bad weather and pilot error|
|Site||Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City), Taiwan|
|Fatalities||204 (including 7 on the ground)|
|Aircraft type||Airbus A300B4-622R|
|Flight origin||Ngurah Rai Int'l Airport
|Destination||Chiang Kai-Shek Int'l Airport
China Airlines Flight 676 (CAL676, CI676) was a scheduled international passenger flight that crashed into a road and residential area in Tayuan, Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City), near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (present-day Taoyuan International Airport), Taiwan on the night of Monday, 16 February 1998.
The Airbus A300 jet liner was en route from Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, Indonesia to Taipei, Taiwan. The weather was inclement with rain and fog when the aircraft approached Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, so the pilot executed a missed approach. After the jet was cleared to land at runway 05L, the autopilot was disengaged, and the pilots then attempted a manual go-around. The jet slowed down, pitched up by 40 degrees, rose 1,000 feet (300 m), stalled, and crashed into a residential neighborhood, bursting into flames at local time 4:20 PM. All 196 people on board were killed (including the president of Taiwan's central bank, Sheu Yuan-dong, his wife, Huang Mian-mei, and three central bank officials), along with seven people on the ground. Hsu Lu, the manager of the Voice of Taipei radio station, said that one boy was pulled alive from the wreckage and later died.
The cockpit voice recording was leaked on the Internet, but has been removed as it is a property of the Taiwanese government.
With 204 fatalities, this was the deadliest air disaster of 1998 until Swissair Flight 111 crashed off the eastern coast of Canada on 2 September, killing 229 people. It remains the deadliest aviation accident on Taiwanese soil and the fifth-deadliest involving an Airbus A300. China Airlines had twelve A300s in its fleet at the time of the accident. It is also the second deadliest accident overall in Taiwan's history, behind China Airlines Flight 611, which crashed in the Taiwan Strait.
Aircraft and crew
The aircraft involved in the accident was an Airbus A300B4-622R, registration B-1814. It was delivered to China Airlines on 14 December 1990 and was powered by 2x Pratt and Whitney PW4156 engines. The aircraft was 7.3 years old at the time of the accident and had completed 20,193 flight hours. Captain Lin Kang Long who was 49 years old, joined China Airlines in 1990, and had 7,210 hours total flight time. First Officer Jiang Der-Sheng who was 44 years old, joined China Airlines in 1996, and had 3,530 hours total flight time. Both pilots were formerly with the Republic of China Air Force.
The plane took off from Ngurah Rai Int'l Airport, Bali, Indonesia en route to Chiang Kai-Shek Int'l Airport, Taipei, Taiwan with 182 passengers and 14 crew at 15:27. The Airbus carried out a ILS/DME approach to runway 05L at Taipei Chiang Kai Shek Airport in light rain and fog but came in 1,000 feet too high above the glide slope (at 1,515 feet, 1.2 nm short of the threshold). Go around power was applied 19 seconds later over the threshold (at a 1,475 feet agl). The landing gear was raised and the flaps set to 20deg as the Airbus climbed through 1,723 feet in a 35-deg pitch-up. Reaching 2,751 feet (42.7 deg pitch-up, 45 knots speed) the A300 stalled. Control could not be regained as the aircraft fell and smashed into the ground 200 feet left off the runway. It then surged forward hit a utility pole and a highway median and skidded into several houses, surrounded by fish farms, rice paddies, factories and warehouses, and exploded killing all on board. Weather was 2,400 feet visibility, RVR runway 05L of 3,900 feet, 300 feet broken ceiling, 3,000 feet overcast. According to the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder), the last words were from the captain and were 'OH! My God!'. This was surrounded by the Terrain alarm and stall warnings.
Investigation and conclusion
On initial approach to land the aircraft was more than 1,000 meters above its normal altitude when it was only six nautical miles away from the airport. The control tower commanded the plane to abort its landing attempt, and to "go around" for a second landing. During this time the pilot had unknowingly released the plane's autopilot but was not aware of it, and the procedures taken for the second landing attempt were erroneous. When he received the order to "go around," he therefore did nothing to actively take control of the plane as he thought the autopilot would initiate the go around. For 11 seconds the plane was under no one's control.
Following a formal investigation that had continued for nearly two years, a final report by a special task force under the Civil Aviation Administration concluded that pilot error was behind the crash of Flight 676. The report concludes by pointing the finger at China Airlines for what it calls "insufficient training" and "poor management of the resources in the pilot's cabin".
12:04:26 TWR Clear to land. Wind 360 at 3, clear to land.
12:04:29 F/O Roger, clear to land, Dynasty 676.
12:04:34 F/O OK. Glide Slope blue. Localiser green.
12:04:42 Capt 1000 feet higher.
12:04:52 Capt Come on, 1000!
12:04:56 Capt OK. 30/40.
12:04:57 F/O 30/40.
12:05:02 F/O Landing gear, down, three green.
12:05:04 F/O Anti-skid, normal and eight released.
12:05:06 F/O Slat/Flap, 30/40.
12:05:07 F/O Spoiler.
12:05:09 F/O Armed.
12:05:10 F/O Landing light, on.
12:05:12 F/O Landing check list complete.
12:05:14 Capt Go lever, Go Around.
12:05:15 F/O Go Around, Go level.
12:05:17 Capt Yes. Go!
12:05:19 Capt Positive, gears up!
12:05:20 Capt Gear Up!
12:05:22 F/O Heading Select, flaps.
12:05:26 F/O Plus 10
12:05:27 CAM Don, Don....
12:05:29 Capt Latch.
12:05:32 CAM Don,
12:05:33 CAM Du
12:05:34 CAM Wu.....
12:05:36 CAM Wu Lu .......
12:05:37 CAM Wu Lu....., D-ling
12:05:38 CAM D-ling.
12:05:40 Capt OK
12:05:42 CAM Don
12:05:43 CAM Don
12:05:44 CAM Don
12:05:45 Capt OH! My God!
12:05:46 TWR Dynasty 676, confirm go around?
12:05:49 CAM Du....
12:05:50 CAL 676 (F/O) Confirm go around!
12:05:52 F/O Pull it up, too low!
12:05:53 CAM Whoop, Whoop, Pull up, Da La, Da La, Da La.
12:05:55 CAM Whoop Whoop Da La, Pull Up.
12:05:57 CAM Whoop. Whoop, Pull
12:05:58 CAM Da La.
End of Recording
Flight number retirement
- List of accidents and incidents on commercial airliners
- China Airlines Flight 140, another crash involving a CAL Airbus A300 during the 1990s, which also occurred on final approach.
- "Over 200 Die as Taiwan Jet Crashes in Bad Weather." The New York Times
- B-1814 China Airlines Airbus A300B4-622R – cn 578 – Planespotters.net Just Aviation. Planespotters.net.
- ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A300-622R B-1814 Taipei-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (TPE). Aviation-safety.net.
- China Airlines 676 CVR Transcript. AirDisaster.Com.
- Official report says CAL crash was caused by pilot. Taipei Times.
- Ladkin, Peter M. "The Crash of Flight CI676". 18 March 1998. The RVS Group. RVS-J-98-01. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- CBC governor killed in plane crash
|Photos of B-1814 at Airliners.net|
|Picture of the crash|
- "Mourners gather to identify victims of Taiwan crash" (Archive). CNN. February 17, 1998.
- "205 dead as China Air jet slams into Taiwan" (Archive). CNN. February 16, 1998.
- The Crash of Flight CI676, a China Airlines Airbus A300, Taipei, Taiwan, Monday 16 February, 1998: What We Know So Far – University of Bielefeld
- CVR Transcript of Flight 676