Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895
EX-009 seen at Domodedovo International Airport on 20 August 2008; four days prior to the crash
|Date||24 August 2008|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain|
|Site||Manas International Airport, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-219 Advanced|
|Flight origin||Manas International Airport, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan|
|Destination||Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, Iran|
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895, an Itek Air Boeing 737-219 Advanced, registered as EX-009, was a charter flight operated on behalf of Iran Aseman Airlines which crashed on 24 August 2008 (at 20:30 local time) near Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan while en route to Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, Iran. It crashed while returning to the airport of origin after experiencing technical difficulties.
Reports state that members of the crew reported "technical issues" with the plane shortly after take off. Within 10 minutes the crew reported a severe loss of cabin pressure. When they attempted to make an emergency landing, the aircraft crashed approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the airport runway and burst into flames. The United States Air Force sent ambulances and fire apparatus with firefighters and medical personnel from its base at the airport in response to a request for assistance.
There were 90 people on board (85 passengers and 5 crew) of whom 65 died. This makes it the deadliest aircraft accident to ever occur in Kyrgyzstan. A total of 25 are reported to have survived. The victims included ten members of a Bishkek high school sports team, Kyrgyzstan National U18 Basketball Team.
The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) attempted to retrieve data from the flight-data and cockpit voice-recorders, which were badly damaged in the fire which destroyed most of the aircraft. While disassembling the casing, both the mechanisms of the tape recorder and the tape media in the voice recorder were found in damaged condition, but the MAK attempted to read the data from the damaged media.
The MAK has drawn final conclusions. The report claims that the forward left cabin door was not closed completely, and that the person who closed it was an engineer who was not listed among those (in the Cabin Attendant Manual) who were supposed to close the door. The report concludes that the aircraft originally lost cabin pressure due to this error, but that it was just a contributing factor to the crash. The plane could have landed with reduced pressure, but the pilot failed to maintain visual contact with the runway, failed to properly monitor altitude and ignored automated warnings about terrain proximity (TAWS).
It has been reported that both the captain and co-pilot have been sentenced to five years and five years and two months respectively in a penal colony for the crash.
MAK concluded that the cause of the crash was the crew allowing the altitude reduction of the aircraft at night to a height below the minimum height during a visual approach for an emergency landing at the airport of departure due to depressurization caused by a failed left front door seal, which led to the collision of the aircraft with the ground, the destruction of the aircraft structure followed by fire and death. The disaster was the result of a combination of the following factors:
- Failure to comply with the requirements of crew resource management and standard operating procedures.
- Failure to comply with the rules of visual approach with regard to maintaining a constant visual contact with the runway and / or reference points and inaction after loss of visual contact with the runway.
- The loss of altitude by the crew when maneuvering for a second approach which was caused by improper assessment of the aircraft position relative to the descent path.
- Failure to comply with the prescribed actions during TAWS activation.
The crashed plane first flew on 16 June 1980 and was delivered on 1 July of the same year to Air New Zealand as ZK-NAS. In 1995, it was sold to Copa Airlines, and in 2003 was again sold to Phoenix Aviation. In 2005, Phoenix Aviation was rebranded as AVE.com, and in April 2006, it changed hands to Itek Air.
Itek Air, along with all air carriers certified by the authorities with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Kyrgyzstan, is included in a European Union list of banned airlines for safety concerns and is therefore not permitted to fly over the territory of the EU. In May 2008, EX-009 passed a full technical inspection.
|Wikinews has related news: Passenger plane traveling to Iran crashes in Kyrgyzstan, killing 68|
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