Turkish Airlines Crash – Amsterdam

A Boeing 737-800 jet owned by Turkish Airlines, crashed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 10.40 am local time today (25 February, 2009). The first reports said there were survivors from Flight TK 1591, but the exact numbers of casulties and surivors are still unknown.

There were 135 passengers on the plane: 127 passengers (with 72 Turkish and 32 Dutch nationalities) and 7 crew members according to Turkish media.

(c) CNN

(c) CNN

The first pictures show the plane broken into 3 parts, but there is no sign of fire, therefore everybody is optimistic about the number of survivors.

A few hours after the accident, the Dutch authorities have confirmed that at least 9 people (including 3 pilots) have been killed, with more than 50 injured – 5 of those are in a life threatening condition. By noon local time, all survivors have been escaped from the wreckage, while many lucky passengers have simply walked away after the accident.

Update from Turkish Airlines’ emergency website:Turkish Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight Number TK 1951 from Istanbul to Amsterdam the capital of The Netherlands  was involved in an accident today near the Amsterdam Airport.
The aircraft, a B737-800 was during the landing when the accident occurred, at around 11:30 a.m. local time.
At this time, after the search and rescue operations, we have 9 casualties, and 50 passengers were injured. Turkish Airlines staff has been doing everything possible to assist the emergency services and local authorities.
There were127 passengers and 7 crew members on board Flight Number TK 1951 and we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for this flight.

The plane crash-landed in the fields just outside of Schiphol International Airport, coming to a rest only 150 m’s from the A9 highway. The plane broke into three parts with the aft part totally destroyed, while the front has broken in two around the front part of the wings. Many of the around 50 people who walked away from the plane have left the aircraft in the back where the cabin was wide open after the back of the plane has broken off.

Turkish TK1591 Amsterdam c-by-daan-krans on Airliners.net

The first reports suggested, the plane attempted to land but was too high and instead the pilots chose to abort landing but by then the plane was too slow to fully take off again, and the back of the fuselage hit the ground just after the the end of the runway. This process has been explained both by a passenger onboard as well as by a witness on the ground. However most of the reports are suggesting that the plane was on final approach to the runway which is also supported by the Aviation Safety Network’s Flight Path image. Some witnesses claim that the Boeing was quietly gliding just before the crash – which could theoretically mean that there was an engine failure, or could also mean that the plane has simply ran out of fuel. This second version is also supported by the fact that the plane has not caught on fire after the crash. (Last year a British Airways Boeing 777 crash-landing short of the London Heathrow runway – where nobody was hurt.)

The plane was a Boeing 737-800 with 165 seats. Turkish Airlines flies 52 of these planes in its fleet, while this type is considered as one of the safest airliners in the skies. This particular plane (registration: TC-JGE, name: Tekirdağ) first flew on January 24, 2002 and was originally delivered to Turkish Airlines.

By Szafi and balint01


6 Responses to “Turkish Airlines Crash – Amsterdam”

  1. 1 balint01 February 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Out of the 9 casulties of this accident 5 were Turkish and 4 US nationalities. 2 of the Americans were part of a group of 4 Boeing employees.

  2. 2 Marco February 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    there was 1 filipina who was hurt.

  3. 3 Tinsie March 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Any idea where the people who got hurt were seating?

  4. 4 balint01 March 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The three pilots were sitting in the cockpit. There was one flight attendant who also passed away, she may have been in the back – where the plane broke apart. Probably the passengers who also died were sitting in the front area, where the airplane broke to two pieces. As you can see on the two pictures in the post: looking at the right hand side of the plane (picture on the top) you can still see all letters in the word “Turkish”, but on the left hand side (lower picture) the letter “S” is practically missing… My guess is that they were sitting right there…

  5. 5 Tinsie March 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Good point.

  6. 6 balint01 May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    From ATW Online News:
    The Feb. 25, 2009, crash of a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 on approach to Amsterdam Schiphol was caused by a malfunctioning radio altimeter, a non-stabilized approach, poor reactions from the pilots and insufficient directions from air traffic control, the Dutch Safety Board concluded in its final report released on May 6, 2010.

    “That the accident could happen was the result of a convergence of circumstances,” the board said. “These circumstances could only have resulted in the accident happening because of their mutual interaction.”

    The board said its investigation did not uncover a reason for the altimeter malfunction but stated that “the failure of radio altimeter systems in 737-800 aircraft has a long history.” Boeing “reasonably” could have realized that the problem, particularly the effect on the autothrottle, could have had an impact on safety, it said. It is recommending that the manufacturer improve the reliability of the radio altimeter system and that it review its “approach to stall” procedures with regard to the use of autopilot and autothrottle.

    The report also was critical of AMS controllers, who “must observe the procedures as they are described in the rules” and not engage in individual interpretation. “The given heading instructions did not enable the aircraft to be in level flight on the final approach track before intercepting the glidepath from below,” the board said. “This is not in line with the ICAO guidelines for this type of approach.”

    Turkish Airlines said it disagrees with “certain aspects” in the DSB report, in particular two conclusions: “Approach stabilization is not a factor in the causation of this accident and it is claimed by the report that the crew could have recovered the aircraft after the stall warning was received. However, even though the crew promptly reacted, autothrottle kicked back unexpectedly. The second attempt by the crew, after disengaging the autothrottle, to advance thrust levers was successful but too late.”

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