Turkish Airlines Accident Report Confirms AEI Safety Warnings

By Aei Aircraft Engineers International, PRNE
Monday, May 10, 2010

HOOFDDORP, The Netherlands, May 11, 2010 - Dutch accident investigators have now published the findings of their
investigation[1] into the Turkish Airlines fatal crash near Schiphol Airport,
Amsterdam on the 25th of February 2009. A major contributing factor to the
accident was the non reporting of defects, an issue AEI has been warning
about for some time now[2]. AEI further welcomes the report's support of AEI
policy, recommending regulators including EASA, to "make (renewed) efforts to
ensure airlines are aware of the importance of reporting and ensure that
reporting procedures are adhered to."

AEI regret that the aviation industry is currently under severe economic
pressure but that can be no excuse for cutting any corners particularly as
far as safety is concerned. Some may even go as far as to imply that the
cause of this accident is a specifically Turkish one but that is complete
nonsense, as the culture of not reporting defects as they occur, but rather
when financially convenient, is widespread. The practice has now however been
shown up for what it really is; extremely dangerous.

A professional organisation such as AEI will always exercise its moral
obligation in highlighting to the travelling public the dangers of allowing
commercially driven practices to undermine safety. The aim is to prevent
further unnecessary tragedy and loss of life. Unfortunately however the
downward trend probably will not end with the Turkish accident. There are
still a number of open issues including the serious issue of regulators
losing objectiveness over the airlines they regulate. This is dangerous and
needs to cease immediately.

In the United States the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) have
already been dealing with this issue in a very effective manner and their
efforts are to be applauded. Unfortunately in Europe however the situation
remains that both airlines and regulators suffer no consequences for failing
in their responsibilities.

AEI will continue to raise awareness of these issues but the ultimate
responsibility of ensuring operators meet their regulatory requirements is in
the hands of politicians. Will they now finally start to act?

Note from the Editor:

The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 (flight TK1951) was flying from
Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, on 25
February 2009
. During the approach to runway 18 Right (18R) at Schiphol
airport, the aircraft crashed into a field at a distance of about 1.5
kilometres from the threshold of the runway. This accident cost the lives of
four crew members, including the three pilots, and five passengers, with a
further three crew members and 117 passengers sustaining injuries.

Shortly after the accident, the initial investigation results indicated
that the left radio altimeter system had passed on an erroneous altitude
reading of -8 feet to the automatic throttle control system (the auto
throttle). This known defect had not been reported in the aircraft technical


[1] www.onderzoeksraad.nl/docs/rapporten/Rapport_TA_ENG_web.pdf

[2] AEI Press Release 12th September 2008

More information: Mr Fred Bruggeman, +31-(0)6-559-301-75, fredbruggeman at cs.com

will not be displayed