Crash of a Swearingen SA227AC Metro III off Rhodes

Date & Time: Jul 28, 1999
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
SX-BGG
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Athens - Rhodes
MSN:
AC-656
YOM:
1986
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Rhodes-Diagoras Airport, while on a cargo flight from Athens, both engines failed simultaneously. The aircraft stalled and crashed in the sea one km short of runway. Both pilots were rescued while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Double engine failure for unknown reasons.

Crash of an Airbus A300C4-620 in Rhodes

Date & Time: Mar 24, 1999 at 1210 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A6-PFD
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Dubai - Rhodes
MSN:
374
YOM:
1985
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
19
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
252
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Dubai, the crew completed the approach to Rhodes-Diagoras Airport in rain falls and strong winds. The aircraft landed at a speed of 166 knots, about 22 knots above Vref. After touchdown, the ground spoilers did not deploy automatically because they had not been armed. Consequently the auto brake system, which operates by the deployment of spoilers, did not activate. The crew attempted manual braking but this operation was too late and the aircraft was unable to stop within the remaining distance. It overran, lost its undercarriage and came to rest few dozen metres further. All 271 occupants evacuated safely while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Lockheed C-130H Hercules on Mt Pastra: 5 killed

Date & Time: Dec 20, 1997 at 0930 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
750
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Elefsis - Tanagra
MSN:
4729
YOM:
1977
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The four engine aircraft departed Elefsis AFB near Athens on a short flight to Tanagra AFB, carrying five crew members. The aircraft was dispatched at Tanagra AFB to pick up a contingent of 80 soldiers who should take part to the SAR operations following the crash of an Ukrainian Yak-42 on December 17 in the region of Katerini, Central Macedonia. While cruising in a limited visibility due to foggy conditions, the aircraft struck the slope of Mt Pastra located about 24 km southwest of Tanagra Airbase. The wreckage was found few km southeast of the village of Erythres. All five crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
Controlled flight into terrain.

Crash of a Yakovlev Yak-42 near Katerini: 70 killed

Date & Time: Dec 17, 1997 at 2112 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
UR-42334
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Lvov - Odessa - Thessaloniki
MSN:
26 06 164
YOM:
1986
Flight number:
AEW241
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
8
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
62
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
70
Captain / Total flying hours:
9850
Captain / Total hours on type:
2300.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
16210
Copilot / Total hours on type:
5350
Aircraft flight hours:
12008
Aircraft flight cycles:
6836
Circumstances:
AeroSvit Airlines Flight 241 was a scheduled service from Kiev, Ukraine to Thessaloniki, Greece with an en route stop at Odessa, Ukraine. The first leg of the flight was operated by a Boeing 737. Because of engine problems, an aircraft change had to be made at Odessa. The last leg of the flight was carried out using a Yakovlev 42 (UR-42334), which was being chartered from Lvovskie Avialinii. The flight crew had no previous experience in flying to Thessaloniki. The flight was dispatched from Odessa with the No 1 VHF/NAV receiver inoperative, which was contrary to the minimum equipment list (MEL), and took off at 17:23 hours UTC. The weather conditions at Thessaloniki Airport were above required approach and landing minima, however, darkness and an overcast cloud layer obscured awareness of mountainous terrain in the area. The flight was instructed by the approach controller to conduct the LAMBI1F standard arrival procedure and was cleared to execute a VOR-DME-ILS approach to runway 16. The aircraft did not follow the "19 DME arc" as required by the approach procedure, but proceeded directly to the THS NDB. It overshot the localizer course at least twice and the flight crew were unable to establish a stabilized approach. According to the CVR cockpit conversations, the flight crew was confused and uncertain with respect to the navigation aids and the information that was presented. During the approach there were no standard callouts made by the flight crew related to the glide slope, outer marker or minima. At 18:54 UTC the Thessaloniki Tower controller reported that they had passed the airport. The flight crew was unaware that they overflew the runway until they were informed by the controller. The flight crew then initiated a go-around but did not follow the published missed approach procedure, nor did they follow the instructions given by the ATC. Although instructed by ATC to proceed to, and enter the south holding pattern, the flight continued on a flight path to the west. The flight crew remained confused, disorganized, and disoriented during the missed approach and the subsequent clearances issued by ATC. They had lost situational and terrain awareness, and they were uncertain with respect to the radio navigation aids and the information that was presented. They also requested "route vectors" and "heading" twice although Thessaloniki Airport was a non-radar facility. The flight crew occasionally was confused in reading and reporting the correct distances on their DME equipment (miles to kilometers and vice versa) as their instruments displayed distances in kilometers. The flight crew in their effort to solve the navigational problem, often switched their focus from VOR/DME information to ADF, and vice versa. This, in conjunction with the VHF/NAV receiver malfunction, contributed greatly to the confusion in the cockpit and to the loss of orientation. At 19:12 UTC the GPWS sounded for 4 seconds. At the same time the approach controller radioed: "AEW number one, continue VOR-DME/ILS approach minima, continue and report approaching the outer marker". The crew replied: "Outer marker will be report`. After a while the approach controller asked: "AEW-241, do you have the field in sight?". At that time the GPWS sounded again. Shortly afterwards the aircraft impacted the side of Mount Pente Pigadia at 3300 feet. The wreckage was found at 10:30 hours, December 20. At the same date a Greek Air Force Lockheed Hercules, which was being used in the search, crashed, killing all 5 on board. On October 6, 2000 a trial began with two air traffic controllers being accused of many counts of manslaughter and of violating the transportation regulations. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment. In December 2002 a Thessaloniki appeals court reduced the sentences of two air traffic controllers to four years and four months each.
Probable cause:
Causes:
1. The failure of the flight crew to adequately plan and execute the approach and missed approach procedure for runway 16 at Makedonia airport.
2. The failure of the flight crew to properly utilize the Makedonia airport radio navigational aids and aircraft radio equipment / instruments and to interpret the information that was presented.
3. The failure of the flight crew to declare an emergency when they lost their orientation following the missed approach, despite numerous cues alerting them for the aforementioned situation.
4. The captain's failure to achieve maximum performance climb in response to the GPWS alarm signal, 30" prior to impact.
5. The lack of command presence, cockpit discipline and resource management which resulted in a disorganized, confused and ultimately dysfunctional flight crew.
6. The company's inadequate oversight, over their flight operations, that allowed for and resulted in scheduling one inadequately prepared and marginally qualified flight crew and an aircraft which did not comply with national and international airworthiness regulations (it had not been issued the Type Certificate with the corresponding Amendment for the international flights), to execute a regular passenger flight with No 1 VHF/NAV receiver inoperative.
Contributing Factors:
1. The inadequate training provided to the flight crew for cockpit resource management and international flight operations.
2. The dispatch of the aircraft with No 1 VHF/NAV receiver, inoperative, despite the restrictions provided in M.E.L. (Appendix 28, pages 14, 16).
3. The assignment of a marginally qualified instructor pilot to this specific flight who disrupted and substantially reduced the coordination and effectiveness of the flight crew.
4. The inaccurate display of the symbol (R) on the Jeppesen Sanderson Inc. chart 11-1, for runway 16, from which the flight crew, most probably, have formed the wrong impression that radar service was available in Makedonia airport.
5. The insufficient evaluation by the Approach Control, under the aforementioned circumstances, of the difficulties encountered by the flight crew in following procedures and clearances, which prevented the Controllers to offer any available assistance, by their own initiative, in order to prevent, probably, the accident.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed EP-3E Orion in Chania

Date & Time: Sep 23, 1997
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
157320
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
185-5535
YOM:
1968
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
22
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After touchdown at Chania-Souda Airport, the four engine aircraft went out of control, veered off runway, lost its undercarriage and came to rest. All 26 occupants escaped uninjured while the aircraft was written off.
Probable cause:
Loss of control upon landing following a wrong approach configuration and an excessive speed.

Crash of a Boeing 727-230A in Thessaloniki

Date & Time: Aug 12, 1997 at 1741 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
SX-CBI
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Athens - Thessaloniki - Frankfurt
MSN:
20791
YOM:
1974
Flight number:
OA171
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
9
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
26
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The approach to Thessaloniki Airport was completed in poor weather conditions. The aircraft landed too far down the runway and after touchdown, the crew realized he could not stop the aircraft within the remaining distance so he decided to veer off runway to the right. While contacting soft ground, the undercarriage were torn off and the aircraft came to rest. All 35 occupants escaped uninjured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. At the time of the accident, the wind was from 360° at 18 knots gusting to 28 knots with thunderstorm activity, rain falls and a visibility of 5 km.
Probable cause:
The following findings were reported:
- Poor weather conditions,
- The runway surface was wet and the braking action was considered as moderate to low,
- The flying crew consisted of two highly experienced captains,
- The crew was under stress during the final approach due to poor weather conditions,
- Wrong approach configuration as the aircraft was too high on the glide,
- The crew failed to follow the approach checklist,
- The aircraft landed too far down the runway, about a third past its threshold, reducing the landing distance available,
- Lack of crew coordination,
- The crew failed to initiate a go-around procedure.

Crash of a Dornier DO228-201 in Paros

Date & Time: May 2, 1997 at 1722 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
SX-BHG
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Athens - Paros
MSN:
8061
YOM:
1985
Flight number:
ML074
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
18
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Paros Island Airport, the twin engine aircraft nosed down, lost height and struck the ground 1,3 metre short of runway threshold. On impact, the nose gear collapsed and the aircraft slid for 166 metres before coming to rest on the runway. All 20 occupants evacuated safely while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Boeing E-3A Sentry in Preveza

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1996
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
LX-N90457
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Preveza - Geilenkirchen
MSN:
22852
YOM:
1984
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft was completing a flight from Preveza to the Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base in Germany. During the takeoff roll at Preveza-Aktion Airport, after V1 speed, the pilot-in-command heard a loud noise. Thinking this was the consequence of a bird strike, he decided to abandon the takeoff procedure and started an emergency braking manoeuvre. Unable to stop within the remaining distance, the aircraft overran, struck a dyke and came to rest partially submerged in the sea. All 16 occupants escaped uninjured.
Probable cause:
Investigations revealed there were no indications of a possible bird striked during takeoff.

Crash of an Antonov AN-26 in Thessaloniki: 6 killed

Date & Time: Aug 31, 1995 at 1640 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
TZ-347
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Kiev - Tunis - Bamako
MSN:
3303
YOM:
1974
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The aircraft was ferried from Kiev to Bamako with an intermediate stop in Tunis following a complete revision at the Antonov factory in Kiev. En route from Kiev to Tunis, while flying over the north part of Greece, the crew informed ATC about technical problems and was cleared to divert to Thessaloniki-Makedonia Airport. As a radar (instrument) approach was not possible, the crew attempted to land under VFR mode in IMC conditions. On final, in limited visibility due to rain falls and fog, the crew failed to realize his altitude was too low when the aircraft struck the slope of a mountain located 4 km short of runway. All six crew members were killed. It is possible that the crew encountered technical problems with fuel.