Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives
Bureau d'Archives des Accidents d'Avions

Crash of a Boeing 707 in Sharjah: 6 killed

Accident description

  • Oct 21, 2009 at 1531 LT
  • ST-AKW
  • Takeoff (climb)
  • Cargo
  • No
  • Airport (less than 10 km from airport)
  • Sharjah - Khartoum
  • 20123/788
  • 1969
  • AZZ2241
  • Sharjah, Sharjah (الشارقةّ)
  • UAE
  • Asia
  • 6
  • 6
  • 0
  • 0
  • 6
  • 19943
  • 6649
  • 900
  • 77484
  • 26888
  • The Aircraft was operating a flight from Sharjah International Airport, UAE to Khartoum International Airport, Sudan, with a total of six persons on board: three flight crew members (captain, co-pilot, and flight engineer), a ground engineer, and two load masters. All of the crew members sustained fatal injuries due to the high impact forces. Sometime after of liftoff, the core cowls of No. 4 engine separated and collapsed onto the departure runway, consequently No. 4 Engine Pressure Ratio (“EPR”) manifold flex line ruptured leading to erroneous reading on the EPR indicator. The crew interpreted the EPR reading as a failure of No. 4 engine; accordingly they declared engine loss and requested the tower to return to the Airport. The Aircraft went into a right turn, banked and continuously rolled to the right at a high rate, sunk, and impacted the ground with an approximately 90° right wing down attitude.
  • The Investigation identified the following Causes:
    (a) the departure of the No. 4 engine core cowls;
    (b) the consequent disconnection of No. 4 engine EPR Pt7 flex line;
    (c) the probable inappropriate crew response to the perceived No. 4 engine power loss;
    (d) the Aircraft entering into a stall after the published maximum bank angle was exceeded; and
    (e) the Aircraft Loss of Control (“LOC”) that was not recoverable.

    Contributing Factors to the Accident were:
    (a) the Aircraft was not properly maintained in accordance with the Structure Repair
    Manual where the cowls had gone through multiple skin repairs that were not up to
    aviation standards;
    (b) the Operator’s maintenance system failure to correctly address the issues relating to the No. 4 engine cowls failure to latch issues;
    (c) the failure of the inspection and maintenance systems of the maintenance organization, which performed the last C-Check, to address, and appropriately report, the damage of the No. 4 engine cowls latches prior to issuing a Certificate of Release to Service;
    (d) the Operator’s failure to provide a reporting system by which line maintenance personnel report maintenance deficiencies and receive timely and appropriate guidance and correction actions;
    (e) the Operator’s quality system failure to adequately inspect and then allow repairs that were of poor quality or were incorrectly performed to continue to remain on the Aircraft; and
    (f) the SCAA safety oversight system deficiency to adequately identify the Operator’s chronic maintenance, operations and quality management deficiencies.