Turkish Airlines Flight 6491

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Turkish Airlines Flight 6491
The crash site of Flight 6491
Date16 January 2017 (2017-01-16)
SummaryCrashed during missed approach due to false ILS capture; under investigation
SiteManas International Airport, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
43°03′26″N 74°26′14″E / 43.05722°N 74.43722°E / 43.05722; 74.43722Coordinates: 43°03′26″N 74°26′14″E / 43.05722°N 74.43722°E / 43.05722; 74.43722
Total fatalities39
Total injuries14
Aircraft typeBoeing 747-412F/SCD
OperatorACT Airlines on behalf of Turkish Airlines
IATA flight No.TK6491
ICAO flight No.THY6491
Call signTURKISH 6491
Flight originHong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China
StopoverManas International Airport, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
DestinationIstanbul Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities35
Ground injuries14

Turkish Airlines Flight 6491 was a scheduled international cargo flight operated by ACT Airlines on behalf of Turkish Cargo, from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. On 16 January 2017, the Boeing 747-400F flying the route crashed in a residential area while attempting to land in thick fog at Manas International Airport, Bishkek. A total of 39 people – all four crew members on board and 35 residents on the ground – were killed.[1]

The subsequent investigation found that the aircraft failed to properly acquire the instrument landing system's signal, remaining significantly higher than the correct approach path while overflying the entire length of the runway; it then collided with houses seconds after initiating a go-around.


At 07:19 local time (01:19 UTC) on 16 January 2017, the aircraft crashed nearly 1 km beyond the end of runway 26 at Manas International Airport,[2](p11) in conditions of thick fog.[3] According to initial reports, the aircraft failed to gain enough altitude while attempting a go-around. It crashed into terrain and destroyed several houses.[4] Kyrgyz authorities later stated that the crew were making a determined attempt to land the aircraft instead of aborting the landing.[5]

A total of 39 people were killed in the crash: all four crew members and 35 residents of Dacha-SU (Kyrgyz: Дача-СУ), a residential area located approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the west of the airport.[6][7][8][3][9] Among the dead were 17 children.[7]

Witnesses and rescuers reported that they found the pilot still conscious strapped into his seat, from which he had to be cut free. He later died while en route to a hospital.[10][11]

Fourteen people on the ground were injured, including a number of children.[12][13][14][9] Nineteen houses were destroyed at the crash site, and a further seven were damaged.[15][8] Manas International Airport was closed, with all flights cancelled, following the accident.[16]


TC-MCL, the Boeing 747 involved, photographed five days before the accident

The aircraft involved was a Boeing 747-412F,[note 1] registered as TC-MCL and with manufacturer's serial number 32897.[17] The plane entered service with Singapore Airlines Cargo in 2003, with the registration 9V-SFL.[18] After multiple periods of storage, the aircraft was acquired by Istanbul-based cargo company ACT Airlines in 2015, which then began operating it on behalf of Turkish Cargo.[17][19][20] The aircraft had flown a total of over 45,000 hours and 8,000 cycles as of June 2016. Its last C-check maintenance check had been completed on 6 November 2015.[20]

Immediate response[edit]

Deputy Prime Minister Mukhammetkalyi Abulgaziyev reported that, by late morning, more than 1,000 rescue workers were at the scene.[19] Minister of Health Talantbek Batyraliyev reported that by 11:46 a.m. local time, around 56 doctors and psychologists and 14 ambulance crews had been dispatched to the scene.[21]

A number of heads of state expressed condolences, including the presidents of the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Prime Minister of Turkey.[22][23]

The following day was declared a day of national mourning in Kyrgyzstan.[24]


The location of the crash (red square) past the end of runway 26 at Manas Airport

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Kyrgyzstan's Emergency Situations Minister, Kubatbek Boronov, stated that it was foggy at Manas at the time of the crash, but that weather conditions were not critical. By the afternoon of 16 January, one of the two flight recorders had been found,[25] and the other was located later in the recovery process.[26] Both the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) were damaged in the crash, but investigators were still able to retrieve data from both recorders.[26]

Deputy Prime Minister Abulgaziyev suggested that the cause may have been pilot error, noting that eleven aircraft had landed safely, despite the same weather conditions, on the previous day. He added that the aircraft had attempted to land twice and had damaged the runway lights at one stage.[21] This statement was at odds with another official statement that the aircraft crashed during its first landing attempt.[5]

The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC or MAK) of the Commonwealth of Independent States opened a technical investigation.[27]

Engine debris from TC-MCL still at the crash site five months after the accident

The Turkish Transportation Ministry said it had sent two experts from its accident investigation board to Bishkek to assist Kyrgyz authorities.[19]

A Boeing technical team travelled to the accident site to provide assistance at the request and under the direction of the American accident investigation body, the National Transportation Safety Board.[28]

Many initial press responses stated that a Turkish Airlines aircraft was involved in the accident. In response, Turkish Airlines released a statement saying that neither the aircraft nor the crew were part of the airline, calling it an "ACT Airlines accident".[29] Journalists were threatened by Turkish lawyers claiming reputational damage.[30] Nevertheless, the flight was operated under a Turkish Airlines flight number.

The preliminary investigation report found that the aircraft descended late and captured a false glideslope.[2](p10) On capturing the false glide slope, the 3 auto pilots then initiated the descent of the plane[2](p10) in low visibility conditions[2](p19). Initially all three auto pilots were engaged (LAND 3) the false glideslope was lost 15 seconds after it was acquired and AP CAUTION and FMA FAULT 2 events were recorded meaning that the auto pilots would continue to descend the aircraft on a 3 degree slope using inertial guidance.[2](p27) One autopilot disengaged (LAND 2) and the remaining auto pilots flew down to the decision height. The crew did not acquire the required visual reference at the decision height (99 ft) and initiated a go-around 1/2 second later at 58 ft radar altitude by pressing the TOGA switches.[2](p11) Given the slightly up-sloping terrain after the end of the runway, the aircraft did not have sufficient height at that point to climb out safely.


The crash site of TC-MCL six months after the accident

On 17 January, the Kyrgyz press reported that ACT Airlines had declared the intent to pay the victims compensation for all material and immaterial losses, citing a press release on the ACT Airlines web site.[31] The press release itself, however, stated only that losses were covered by insurance.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The aircraft was a Boeing 747-400F model; the "F" denoting that the aircraft was the freighter variant of the 747-400. Boeing assigns a unique code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as an infix to the model number at the time the aircraft is built, hence "747-412F".


  1. ^ "Kyrgyzstan plane crash: Dozens die as Turkish cargo jet hits homes". BBC News. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Preliminary Report" (PDF). Interstate Aviation Committee. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-412F TC-MCL Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU)". Aviation Safety Network. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ Hradecky, Simon (16 January 2017). "Crash: MyCargo B744 at Bishkek on Jan 16th 2017, impacted terrain on go around". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Разбившийся Боинг-747 не кружил в полосе ожидания, экипаж сразу решил совершить посадку, - замглавы "Кыргызаэронавигации"" [Deputy Head of Kyrgyzaeronagizatsiya: Crashed Boeing 747 Did Not Make a Go-Round, the Crew Decided to Land Right Away] (in Russian). AKIpress. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. ^ "The authorities of Kyrgyzstan: in the crash of Boeing killed 38 people". 24-my.info. 24-my.info. Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Kyrgyzstan Mourns Victims Of Plane Crash That Devastated Village". Radio Free Europe. RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Belarus' First Deputy Foreign Minister signs Book of Condolences at Kyrgyzstan's embassy". Belarusin Telegraph Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Крушение "Боинга-747". Скончался один из госпитализированных" [Boeing 747 Crash: One of the hospitalized has died]. 24.kg (in Russian). 22 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Witnesses of Kyrgyzstan crash speak of loss, finding pilot". Yahoo! News. 17 January 2017.
  11. ^ http://avherald.com/h?article=4a38d07d
  12. ^ Preliminary report, pages 7,11
  13. ^ "Kyrgyzstan Ministry Says Cargo Plane Crash Kills 37". The New York Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Крушение грузового Boeing в Киргизии" [The crash of the cargo Boeing cargo plane in Kyrgyzstan]. РБК (in Russian). 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  15. ^ Preliminary report, page 12
  16. ^ "Turkish cargo Boeing 747 crashes in Kyrgyzstan". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  17. ^ a b "MyCargo Airlines TC-MCL (Boeing 747 - MSN 32897) (Ex 9V-SFL)". Airfleets Aviation. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  18. ^ "MyCargo Airlines TC-MCL (Boeing 747 - MSN 32897) (Ex 9V-SFL ) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  19. ^ a b c "Turkish cargo jet crash kills at least 37 in Kyrgyzstan village". The Daily Telegraph. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Turkish cargo Boeing 747 crashes near Bishkek - Russian aviation news". Russian Aviation Insider. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Kyrgyzstan Cargo Plane Crash: Turkish Airplane Crash Kills Dozens Near Bishkek". ibtimes.com. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  22. ^ ""Разделяем боль и горе". Лидеры СНГ соболезнуют Кыргызстану - СМИ" ["We share pain and suffering": CIS leaders express condolences to Kyrgyzstan]. Mir 24 (in Russian). 16 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Эрдоган соболезнует Атамбаеву в связи с авиакатастрофой - СМИ" [Erdoǧan expresses condolences to Atambaev regarding the air catastrophe, according to media]. Vestnik Kavkaza (in Russian). 16 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  24. ^ Podolskaya, Darya (16 January 2017). "January 17 declared day of mourning". 24.kg. Archived from the original on 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Turkish cargo jet crash kills at least 37 in Kyrgyzstan village". The Telegraph. Our Foreign Staff. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Crashed 747's flight recorders badly damaged". Flightglobal. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Boeing 747-412F TC-MCL 16.01.2017." Interstate Aviation Committee. Retrieved on February 5, 2017.
  28. ^ "News Releases/Statements". boeing.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  29. ^ @TurkishAirlines (2017-01-16). "Regarding the ACT Airlines accident in Kyrgyzstan:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ https://www.austrianwings.info/2017/01/in-eigener-sache-turkish-airlines-will-nach-absturz-von-frachter-bericht-zensurieren-lassen/
  31. ^ Li, Natalya (17 January 2017). "АСТ Airlines выплатит компенсации всем пострадавшим в крушении Боинга" [ACT Airlines will pay a compensation to all victims of the Boeing crash] (in Russian). Vecherniy Bishkek. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  32. ^ "Press Release". ACT Airlines Inc. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

External links[edit]