Turkish Airlines Flight 5904
A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400, similar to the one involved.
|Date||7 April 1999|
|Summary||Impacted ground shortly after takeoff|
|Site||Near Ceyhan, Adana Province, Turkey|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-400|
|Flight origin||Adana Şakirpaşa Airport, Adana, Turkey|
|Destination||King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
Turkish Airlines Flight 5904 was a Boeing 737-400 on an international repositioning flight from Adana Şakirpaşa Airport in Adana, Turkey to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which crashed on 7 April 1999 in the vicinity of Ceyhan, Adana Province in southern Turkey some eight minutes after takeoff. The flight was on its way to Saudi Arabia to pick up pilgrims from Jeddah and as such took off without any passengers on board. All six crew members however were killed in the crash.
The aircraft operating Flight 5904 was a 1995-built Boeing 737-400, registered as TC-JEP and named Trakya. Owned by ILFC, – an American aircraft lessor – it was equipped with two CFM International CFM56 engines and had accumulated around 11.600 flight hours in 6.360 flight cycles up until the time of the crash.
The preceding flight from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had transferred 150 pilgrims returning from Hajj back to Adana Şakirpaşa Airport, where it landed without any problems at around 23:45 EET (20:45 UTC). Remaining on the ground for around one hour for refueling, Flight 5904 took off with a new crew – two pilots and four flight attendants – and with around 10 to 15 tons of fuel at 00:36 EET in order to pick up more pilgrims from Jeddah.
Before takeoff, upon request by the crew, the air traffic controller at Incirlik Air Base relayed the weather report and told the crew that the entire aerodrome was completely covered by thunderstorms and that the thunderstorms were moving from the south towards the north.
Around eight minutes into the flight, at 00:44 EET, at an altitude of around 10,000 feet (3.0 km) and without any sign of inconvenience, the aircraft started to plunge nose-down into the ground and crashed into a field some 30 nautical miles (56 km) east-northeast of the airport near Hamdilli village in the vicinity of Ceyhan in Adana Province. The force of the impact created of 15 metres (49 ft) deep and 30 square metres (320 sq ft) large hole. The horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft was discovered some 250 metres (820 ft) away from the main wreckage which was spread over an area of around 500 square metres (5,400 sq ft). All six occupants were instantly killed.
After the aircraft vanished from radar without any prenotice, air traffic controllers at Adana Airport and at Incirlik Air Base immediately notified the Gendarmerie and the police to initiate search and rescue efforts. At around that time, a large explosion was reported near Hamdili village around 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of Ceyhan in Adana Province.
The investigation into the accident was carried out by Turkey's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The cockpit voice recorder revealed that while the crew was struggling to regain control of the aircraft, at least some of the four flight attendants were inside the cockpit panicking and screaming. The copilot was heard telling the captain "aman ağabey, gittik, gidiyoruz, bas.." (which roughly translates into "Oh brother, we've gone, we're going, push...").
- The severe thunderstorms probably contributed to the cause of the accident.
- The pitot static anti-ice system was probably not activated during preparations for flight.
- The crew failed to recognize the cause of erratic airspeed indication.
- The crew failed to use other cockpit indications for control and recovery of the airplane.
- The presence of cabin crew in the cockpit probably distracted the attention of the cockpit crew.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Accident report TC – JEP (07.04.1999)" (in Turkish). Civil Aviation Authority. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15.
- "MİLLİYET HABER SAYFALARI". Milliyet. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- "THY uçağı Adana'da düştü" (in Turkish). Hürriyet. 7 April 1999. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Aynı faciayı biz de yaşadık". Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- "1999 THY – Trakya Uçağı Kazası". www.hvtd.org. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- "Identification: DCA99RA053". NTSB. Retrieved 2009-01-04.