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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

"Miracle At Schiphol"

Turkish Airlines Flight TK 1951

On The Scene In Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Event Date: 25 Feb. 2009

Feature Date: 15 March 2009

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- In Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 A 2009 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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"Miracle At Schiphol"

Turkish Airlines Flight TK 1951

On The Scene

In Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: 25 Feb. 2009

The Time: 10:31 a.m.

The Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Turkish Airlines (THY) Boeing 737-800 Registration Number TC-JGE In Better Days

This Exact Same Aircraft Would Meet Her End On Feb. 25 2009


Number of aircraft for Turkish Airlines: 51


Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE delivered by Boeing on March 27, 2002.

Construction number CN29789

Plane named Tekirdag after the city in Thrace in Turkey

Powered by two CFM56-7B26 engines

Flight Number TK 1951 - Istanbul For Amsterdam

There were 127 passengers and 7 crew on board

9 Casualties

126 Survivors


Number of aircraft for Turkish Airlines: 51

Cruise speed: 858 km/h

Maximum take off weight: 79.015 kg

Passenger capacity: 165

Wing span: 34,315 m

Maximum cruising altitude: 41.000 ft

Length: 39,472 m

Maximum range: 4.755 km.

Height: 12,548 m

Maximum cargo capacity: 8.408 kg / 45,05 m3

The Prolog To Disaster -- On Approach To Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

PROLOG >>On 15 Jan. 2009, we held collective our breath as Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III wrote history when making a successful water landing of his Airbus A320-214. US Airways Flight 1549 was "The Miracle On The Hudson" because all 155 souls aboard survived.

Just 42 days later there was to be the "Miracle At Schipol" As Captain Hasan Tahsin Arisan brought his Turkish Airlines B737-800 down in a muddy farming field, short of a safe landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport.

Miracle? That's the only definition when 127 souls survived a herendous impact from which no one should have walked away. Actually, about 30 of the 127 survivors did just that -- walked away.

On a darker note, it appears there may be a structural problem with Boeing's 737-800 passenger lines' altimeters - the instruments which record the plane's height from the ground with radio-waves and are directly linked to its automatic pilot system -- as contained in confidential documents published by the Dutch news-radio and confirmed in a 4 March 2009, Boeing report -- published below.

Boeing will make the fix -- of course -- as it always has -- but today the question is: Does The B-737 have have systemic problem?

Michael S. McDaniel - Your Editor

Turkish Airlines 737-800

Sky News Broke The Tragic News

News of The Tragedy Spreads To Los Angeles

VIDEO OF Flight TK 1951 Crash

Emergency Teams Rush Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE

Weather: Wind 200 Deg/10 kts, Visibity 4500m In Mist, Scattered Clouds 700 ft.,

Broken Clouds 800 ft, Overcast 1,000 ft, Temp. 4 deg. C, Barometric Pressure 1027QnH.

Flight TK1951 Was Attempting To Land On Runway 36L Near Motorway A9

The Paramedics Evacuate Survivors

Statement of Turkish Airlines:

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident in which our Boeing-737-800 type aircraft, flight TK 1951 from Istanbul to Amsterdam, crashed as it was approaching to land on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at the Airport of Amsterdam..

Turkish Airlines would once more like to express its endless grief and sorrow and sincere condolences for the relatives of the deceased passengers and crew, and prays for the urgent recovery of the injured passengers in relation to the Boeing 737- 800 Aircraft accident of flight TK 1951 at Amsterdam Airport dated February 25th 2009. As an initial step of Family Assistance Services Turkish Airlines will make on a without prejudice basis non-refundable advance payments to injured passengers and relatives of deceased passengers."

It is true that "Ship Happens! ©" -- But Such Dire Consequences can almost always be prevented -- by either proper safety planning -- Or Hindsight To Prevent Reoccurrence.

As Shown Below, This Crash May Have Been Preventable. Tragic.

Injured Are Treated At The Scene

Over 60 Ambulances Respond


Injured Are Carried To The Waiting Ambulances

Every Available Conveyance Is Pressed Into Action

Six Passengers Are Severly Injured & Rushed To Hospital

84 people Were Taken Using 60 Ambulances To 11 Hospitals In The Surrounding Area.

 Tragically The Three Pilots Lost their lives.

The Nose Section Was Compressed & Bent Downwards. The Forces Must Have Been Tremendous

The Dead Are Removed With Care

Engines & Debris Litter The Emergency Area

The Turkish Airlines Fleet Consists of 130 Aircraft As of March 2009[

Tragically The Three Pilots Lost their lives.

The Nose Section Was Compressed & Bent Downwards. The Forces Must Have Been Tremendous

In Record Time Dutch Authorities & Boeng Find The Likely Cause - The LRRA Systems

Ironically, 4 employees of the plane manufacturer, Boeing -- Were Aboard The Flight


MESSAGE NUMBER:MOM-MOM-09-0063-01B] 04-Mar-2009 05:29:01 AM US PACIFIC TIME Multi Operator Message

This message is sent to all 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-500,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ customers and to respective Boeing Field Service bases, Regional Directors, the Air Transport Association, International Air Transport Association, and Airline Resident Representatives.

SERVICE REQUEST ID: 1-1228079803

ACCOUNT: Boeing Correspondence (MOM) DUE DATE: 10-Mar-2009

PRODUCT TYPE: Airplane PRODUCT LINE: 737 PRODUCT: 737-100,-200,-300,-400,-500,-600,-700,-800,-900,-BBJ ATA: 3400-00

SUBJECT: 737-800 TC-JGE Accident at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam - 25 February 2009

REFERENCES: /A/ 1-1222489391 Dated 25 February 2009 Reference /A/ provides Boeing's previous fleet communication on the subject event. The US NTSB, FAA, Boeing, the Turkish DGCA, the operator, the UK AAIB, and the French BEA continue to actively support the Dutch Safety Board's (DSB) investigation of this accident.

The DSB has released a statement on the progress of the investigation and has approved the release of the following information. While the complex investigation is just beginning, certain facts have emerged from work completed thus far: -

To date, no evidence has been found of bird strike, engine or airframe icing, wake turbulence or windshear.

- There was adequate fuel on board the airplane during the entire flight. - Both engines responded normally to throttle inputs during the entire flight.

- The airplane responded normally to flight control inputs throughout the flight. The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) data indicates that the crew was using autopilot B and the autothrottle for an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to runway 18R at Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

During the approach, the right Low Range Radio Altimeter (LRRA) was providing accurate data and the left LRRA was providing an erroneous reading of -7 to -8 feet.

When descending through approximately 2000 feet the autothrottle, which uses the left radio altimeter data, transitioned to landing flare mode and retarded the throttles to the idle stop. The throttles remained at the idle stop for approximately 100 seconds during which time the airspeed decreased to approximately 40 knots below the selected approach speed.

The two LRRA systems provide height above ground readings to several aircraft systems including the instrument displays, autothrottle, autopilots and configuration/ground proximity warning.

If one LRRA provides erroneous altitude readings, typical flight deck effects, which require flight crew intervention whether or not accompanied by an LRRA fault flag, include:

- Large differences between displayed radio altitudes, including radio altitude readings of - 8 feet in flight.

- Inability to engage both autopilots in dual channel APP (Approach) mode

- Unexpected removal of the Flight Director Command Bars during approach

- Unexpected Configuration Warnings during approach, go-around and initial climb after takeoff

- Premature FMA (Flight Mode Annunciation) indicating autothrottle RETARD mode during approach phase with the airplane above 27 feet AGL. There will also be corresponding throttle movement towards the idle stop. Additionally, the FMA will continue to indicate RETARD after the throttles have reached the idle stop

Boeing Recommended Action

- Boeing recommends operators inform flight crews of the above investigation details and the DSB interim report when it is released. In addition, crews should be reminded to carefully monitor primary flight instruments (airspeed, attitude etc.) and the FMA for autoflight modes. More information can be found in the Boeing 737 Flight Crew Training Manual and Flight Crew Operations Manual. Operators who experience any of the flight deck effects described above should consult the troubleshooting instructions contained in the 737 Airplane Maintenance Manual. Further, 737-NG operators may wish to review 737NG-FTD-34-09001 which provides information specific for the 737-NG installation. Initial investigations suggest that a similar sequence of events and flight deck indications are theoretically possible on the 737-100/-200/-300/-400/-500. Consequently the above recommendations also apply to earlier 737 models.

Editor Note: The Boeing Report says the plane had 100 seconds at engine idle speed and no reaction from the crew? Some experts suggest 20 seconds at most should have seen a reaction. The first 80 seconds the aircraft was decreasing from intitial approach speed (180 knots or more) to 140 knots on idle power which is perfectly normal when descending on the ILS (lowering the gear & extending the flaps). Experts tell us it was only when reaching 750 ft (20 seconds before stall) that the flight vrew should have reacted.

Automatic warning signals - such as severe shaking of the steering column -- were also given off at 150 metres height but by that time, it was too late for the crew to respond adequately: the plane by then was flying so slowly that it dropped one kilometer before the landing and crashed into the farmer's field. The black box showed that this left altimeter had failed twice on previous flights of this specific aircraft Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE.

We do know that a third flight officer was sitting in the cockpit on a jump seat working as a flight instructor for a newer pilot. So there was three pairs of eyes watching the controls. What were the 3 officers doing at the time of the crash? We may never know.

Aircraft Maintenance History: Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE which crashed near Amsterdam, underwent repairs for two malfunctions in the week before the accident, the CNN-Turk news channel reported.

Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE was hauled in for repairs after a flight on February 18 when pilots reported a malfunction in the wing flaps, which increase lift on take-off and create drag on landing, the channel said on its web site.

On February 23, pilots aborted a take-off of Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE when the light of the master caution system - which monitors all critical systems - went on just as the aircraft reached the start of the runway. The problem was repaired later in the day.

The same plane -- Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE -- crashed into a muddy field short of the runway Feb. 25 as it was trying to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport after taking off from Istanbul with 127 passengers and 7 crew.

The Flight Crew of Turkish nationality, were among the dead.

Hours after the crash, officials from the carrier announced that Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE had undergone routine general maintenance on December 22.

75-Year Old Turkish Airlines Experienced 21 Accidents Since 1973. Ten Planes Were Lost. 

The Bodies of Three Flight Officers In The Cockpit Remain In the Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE Wreckage.

Per Investigators, They Need To Complete Their Investigations Before Taking Apart The Cockpit.

Editor Note: The Turkish pilots were using autopilot and did not spot the warning pertaining to the faulty altimeter in time to take it off autopilot and steer the plane themselves. One thing has become crystal-clear however: the manufacturers cannot completely blame this on 'pilot error', because the plane was so close to the ground by then that the Turkish pilots had little time to respond: crashing within 10 seconds. All four Turkish air-crew died in the crash.

This problem with its altimeters now have also been identified by KLM- pilots and -engineers, and which prompted its technical-engineering staff to launch their own independent investigation of its entire fleet of Boeing-737-800s, a Dutch newsradio report says.

Dutch KLM airlines' Boeing 737-800s recorded 17 radio-altimeter failures over the past 6 months, similar to the problem identified as the most likely cause of the crash of the Turkish Airlines' Boeing 737-800 in which 9 people were killed.

This important information - indicating that there may be a structural problem with Boeing's 737-800 passenger lines' altimeters - the instruments which record the plane's height from the ground with radio-waves and are directly linked to its automatic pilot system -- was contained in confidential documents published by the Dutch news-radio

But How Could The 127 People Have Survived?

The Fuselage Was Torn Into Three Pieces

Editor Note: Initial data showed that the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 was flying too low and too slowly by the time it approached to land on Runway 36L. It was flying on autopilot at 9,150 feet on its approach to the Runway 36L -- but the left sided altimeter was measuring their height at minus 8 feet. Only the left altimeter had failed. The right hand side one worked perfectly.

Not One You Normally Should Survive

Thankfully, There Was No Fire. A Key To Survival.

Seats & Passengers Violently Tossed About

Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE -- Now A Jumbled Wreck

Evidence of A Nightmare - How Did They Survive?

"The Miracle At Schipol"

 Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE -- Named Tekirdag After The City In Eastern Thrace, Turkey

Fenced & Forlorn Exactly Two Days Short of Her 7th Birthday. She Brought The 127 Home

"The Miracle At Schipol"


Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"

"Ship Happens! ©"

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Air Crews of Turkish Airlines and thier families. These People Bring Our Cargo & Passengers -- year after year in safety.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by air & sae continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker

It's very dangerous out there.

INDEX TO OUR "Miracle At Schiphol" FEATURE

Turkish Airlines

Flight TK1951

Turkish Airways Crash Video

Crew & Passenger List

Boeing 737-800 TC-JGE -- named Tekirdag after the city in Eastern Thrace, Turkey

Schiphol Airport



"The Miracle On The Hudson"

Our Daily Vessel Casualties - stay informed

Ocean Features From The Cargo Letter- these are just examples

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - For All The Air & Ocean Features - a few examples below
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"Great Misfortune"- M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. 

It's very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributor For The "Miracle At Schiphol" Feature

Our Contributor for this feature are:
Our "Doc"- Anonymou Contributor Who Has Brought Us Many Features -- But Must Be Anonymous*

Mark Schofield

The Cargo Letter appreciates the continuing efforts of these valued contributors. Thanks Pal For Your Contributions!

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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