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April`s Air China Crash, Caused by Pilot`s Mistake

Posted November. 25, 2002 22:59,   


It was revealed that the Air China crash occurred on April 15, 2002 in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, seemed to have been caused by blunders including its pilot`s faults rather than defects of the jet itself.

On November 25, the Flight Accident Investigation Committee of Ministry of Construction and Transportation held a public hearing on the case at Chosun Beach Hotel in Busan while China Civic Air Confederation, National Transportation and Safety Board, Boeing, China International Air Corporation and remaining families attended, and announced its `fact finding report`, which stipulated above results.

The committee plans to carry out supplementary investigation taking into account opinions and testimonies received from the hearing. It will announce final report with cause of the accident late next June.

According to the committee, it was first time for the CA 129`s Chinese pilot, Woo, Shin-roo, to try turning landing at the airport although he had done takeoff and landing four times at there before the accident.

At the Gimhae International Airport, rectilinear landing from south of the airport to north would be done when weather condition is favorable. But when weather condition is bad, pilots should take the turning landing, flying down from North to South on an old runway.

It was found that Woo didn`t keep flight procedure that requires pilots to maneuver checking out ground materials around the runways. He failed to grasp flight location fully as well.

Furthermore, it was confirmed that he received safety warning from his co-pilot six times while he tried turning landing, such as `make the turn fast`, `be careful about the altitude,` and failed to take the turn at right time, which is crucial for safe landing.

In the meantime, the committee also found that the air traffic controller of the Gimhae Airport control tower didn`t recognize four times of MSAW(Minimum Safe Altitude Warning) alarms, but concluded that it is not a direct cause of the accident.

In addition, it said that no abnormal signs that would have resulted in the accident were found from jet`s structure, engine or system.

Jae-Seong Hwang jsonhng@donga.com