DAVID LEARMOUNT / LONDON

THY Avro RJ100 destroyed by fire after crashing short of runway in low visibility

Visibility appears to be a crucial factor in the THY Turkish Airlines BAE Systems Avro RJ100 crash at Dyarbakir airfield, south-east Turkey, on 8 January.

Statements from the Turkish prime minister's office confirm conditions at the civil/military airport were foggy, and it has no precision approach navigation aids.

The aircraft was preparing to land on runway 34 at Dyarbakir after a scheduled service from Istanbul. For runway 34, there is a published VOR/distance measuring equipment (DME) approach or a non-directional beacon (NDB)/DME let-down, but it has not been confirmed whether all aids were all serviceable at the time. The minimum descent height (MDH) for the approaches is 639ft (195m) above runway threshold elevation (21,180ft). The approach charts show that the MDH should be reached with at least 1.5nm (2.8km) still to go to the runway and a visibility of 1,500m or more. Weather reports indicate the area visibility was 1,600m, but there were localised fog banks with 100m visibility.

The RJ100 appears to have crashed short of the runway by a few hundred metres, the hull was broken and a serious fire then destroyed the aircraft. Turkish Airlines says there were 75 passengers and five crew on board. Five people are believed to have survived.

Source: Flight International

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