The MD-83 departed Istanbul at 00:50 on a domestic flight to Isparta with 49 passengers and 7 crew. The airplane crashed in mountainous terrain near Isparta.
Local officials said the plane had broken into two pieces, with its fuselage and rear landing in different locations. Anatolia said the plane’s wings and engine were at the top of a hill while the fuselage was 500 feet lower.
The MD-83, carrying 49 passengers and seven crew members, took off from Istanbul at 00:50 a.m. local time and was headed to Isparta on a flight of about one hour. It went off the radar just before landing at the airport.
“As a nation, our pain is great because of this regrettable accident,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement. Erdogan said initial information indicated the plane was turning when its rear hit the mountainside. Investigators found the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, which will help them determine the cause of the crash.
Atlasjet said the wreckage of the plane was found on a mountain around 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) high, and that rescuers initially had difficulty reaching the site because of the rugged terrain. The area where the plane crashed is called Turbe Tepe, which means “Shrine Peak” in Turkish. Much of the wreckage lay amid snow patches 200 meters (650 feet) from the top of the mountain.
Atlasjet published the following press release (this is not the full version – the editor):
“First of all, we wish God has mercy on martyrdoms who have lost thier lives. MD83 type passenger aircraft, with flight number KK 4203, belonging to World Focus Airlines, leased by Atlasjet Airlines, took off from Ataturk Airport at 00.50 to fly from Istanbul to Isparta.
There were 56 people on board the aircraft. Those were 49 passengers and 7 crew: 2 pilots, 4 cabin attendants and 1 technician. The pilots, cabin chief and flight technician on the flight are the staff of World Focus Airlines, 3 stewardesses from the cabin crew are the staff of Atlasjet Airlines. After take off, communication was established with the tower, over Isparta Airport, the airport was seen, and as from this moment communication with the aircraft has been cut off. At approximately 06.15, we were informed that the aircraft had crashed in the west of Kilinc District, the north of Cukuroren Village, the west of Turbetepe.
It has been determined that the aircraft had no technical problem during landing and take-off. After inbound (last approach to the airport for landing), communication with the aircraft was cut off.
As from the moment the event was learned, all related units including Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Turkish Air Force and Police Department started working on the event. According to the information rendered at approximately 06.15, the aircraft was found to be on a hill of approximately 5.000 feet in the northwest of the airport. Search and rescue teams tried to reach the venue over-land. Because it is a highland, teams are having difficulty to reach the area. According to the information received from the search and rescue helicopter, no vital sign has been determined up to now. ”
Atlasjet, a private airline established in 2001, operates regular flights inside Turkey and chartered flights to Europe and other foreign destinations. In 2005, one of its planes ran off the runway in winter conditions, but the company had not been involved in any fatal accidents. Its fleet consits of B757s, A320s, A319s and CRJ-900s.
World Focus Airlines
We wanted to take a look at the website of World Focus Airlines to learn more about their fleet and background, but no content is available in English, so if anyone speaks Turkish, we would be grateful for some information about the airline. For us by the design and structure of the website it seems like a subsidiary of Atlasjet. Their website is available here.