Altimeter to blame for Turkish Airlines crash
09 / 03 / 2009
A FAULTY altimeter was to blame for the crash of the Turkish Airlines flight at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport last month.
Nine people were killed as the Boeing 737-800’s left radio altimeter indicated that the plane was flying at minus eight feet rather than 1,950 ft. This caused the automatic pilot to shut down the engines. With the plane slowing the pilots were only alerted to the decrease in speed when it was too late. An attempt to reignite the engines at 492 ft failed keep the aircraft aloft and it crashed one kilometre from the airport.
Dutch Safety Board head Pieter van Vollenhoven said: “The reason to go public now already is to warn Boeing and all users of this plane type that vigilance is required with regards to the altimeter.”
The plane’s black box shows that the problem had occurred twice before during landings. An investigation is underway as to why more action wasn’t taken to rectify the problem.