February 10th in Aviation History

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Kish Air Flight 7170 was a scheduled commercial passenger flight from Kish Island, Iran to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. The flight was being operated on a Fokker 50 turboprop airliner. On the 10th of February, 2004, the Fokker 50 was carrying 46 passengers and crew. While on approach towards Sharjah International Airport, the turboprop crashed, killing 43 of the 46 occupants.

The subsequent investigation, carried out by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority concluded that the ultimate cause of the accident was a chain caused human error. The investigation into the crash revealed that the pilots had accidentally selected the propellers to reverse thrust while still in the air. This caused the loss of control and the subsequent crash. The propellers can only move into the ground control range if the power levers are physically moved past the primary stop by a pilot.

Another contributing factor as pointed out by the GCAA was the First Officer’s hesitation to fly the approach and the Captain insisting that he do so. This lead to a breakdown of crew resource management. After that, standard operating procedures were violated probably in panic, which ultimately lead to the crash.


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