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Flying? The safest form of transport!!

Looking around and looking up, just to keep an eye on the world of aviation and report those obscure findings and happenings.

Faulty altimeter in Amsterdam Boeing 737?
05 March 2009 @ 10:07

A faulty altimeter shut down the engine of the Turkish Airlines flight before it crashed last week near Amsterdam's Schipol airport killing nine people. They said similar shutdowns had occurred twice before on the same plane and were overruled by the pilots, and warned its maker Boeing and any airlines using 737 models to be vigilant. When flying at about 1950 feet (594 metres) the plane's left radio altimeter indicated the Boeing 737-800 was flying at minus 8 feet, prompting the automatic pilot to shut down the engines, the Dutch Safety Board said on Wednesday. "The crew initially did not react to these events," Dutch Safety Board head Pieter van Vollenhoven told reporters. When an alarm went off that the plane's speed would drop below the minimum, the pilots reacted and reignited the engines. "But the plane was too low at 150 metres. As a consequence the plane crashed 1 kilometre before the runway," said Van Vollenhoven. "The reason to go public now already is to warn Boeing and all users of this plane type that vigilance is required with regards to the altimeter," he said. Boeing said in an statement it was "issuing a reminder to all 737 operators to carefully monitor primary flight instruments during critical phases of flight". The plane's black box -- which can register 25 hours of flying time and in this case had covered 8 flights-- showed the problem had occurred twice previously during landings. In the first instances the pilot had overruled the automatic pilot and restarted the engines, a spokesman for the Safety Board said. Investigations were underway as to why more action had not been taken after the problem was detected. Five Turks and four Americans were killed when the plane plunged into a boggy field while trying to land last week at Amsterdam's Schiphol, Europe's fifth-largest airport by passenger numbers and third largest by freight volume. Passengers said the plane suddenly dropped to the ground during landing.  Braking caused when the plane hit the ground meant that the aircraft broke into two pieces and the tail broke off.  Most of the fatally wounded were near the rupture, in business class, and the three crew members in the cockpit died as a result of the enormous braking forces.

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