Turkish investigators have confirmed that a navigation error led to the controlled flight into terrain of an Atlasjet Boeing MD-83 near Isparta a year ago.

The Turkish transport minister Binali Yildirim has made some initial remarks about the 361-page report into the accident, ahead of its full publication. While full details have yet to be disclosed, Yildirim says the crew followed an incorrect heading, off by 30°, while conducting the night approach to Isparta airport on 30 November 2007.

The aircraft, which had been sourced from World Focus Airlines for flight KK4203 from Istanbul, struck a peak known as Turbetepe about 19km (10nm) from Isparta's runway, killing all 57 on board. Yildirim says the World Focus first officer had just 14.2h on the MD-83, whereas Turkish regulations require 100h.

He adds that the aircraft also suffered technical problems - not recorded in maintenance logs - and crucially, the flight recorders failed to register information about the fatal flight. Examination of the enhanced ground-proximity warning system also showed that the device was not functioning fully.

World Focus has changed its brand name to Ankair, but suspended operations earlier this year.

A US Federal Bureau of Investigation probe is under way into an apparent laser incident involving an American Airlines Boeing MD-82 preparing to land in Austin, Texas on 22 November.

According to the US Federal Aviation Administration's preliminary incident report, American flight 479 with 111 passengers and five crew was descending into Austin after a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth at about 18:30 when pilots reported "an intense green laser light flash into the cockpit" about 19km from the airport.

The FAA says one crew member was taken to hospital with an eye injury. American Airlines confirms that the first officer was treated at a local hospital and released.

Source: Flight International