Precisely 21 years in the past right now, on November 24, 2001, Crossair Flight 3597 crashed right into a hill close to Zurich, Switzerland killing 24 of the 33 individuals onboard. Crossair Flight 3597 was a 410-mile-long flight from Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) in Germany to Zurich Airport (ZRH) in Switzerland.
The plane working the flight was a five-year-old British-manufactured Avro 146-RJ100 registered HB-IMX. Earlier than the crash, the airplane had logged 13,000 flying hours with 11,500 takeoffs and landings. The Avro RJ100 was a high-winged four-engine jet derived from the BAe 146, an plane designed to take off and land from brief runways. Thought to be an exceptionally quiet airplane, Swiss service Crossair was the biggest operator of the Avro RJ100, with 16 plane in its fleet.
The First Officer had extra hours on the Avro RJ100 than the Captain
In control of Crossair Flight 3597 was 57-year-old Captain Hans Ulrich Lutz, a seasoned pilot with shut to twenty,000 flight hours. Aiding the captain was 25-year-old First Officer Stefan Löhrer, who was recent out of coaching with simply 500 hours underneath his belt. A curiosity was that Captain Lutz had only recently began to fly the RJ100, which meant that the primary officer had extra expertise flying the kind.
The pair have been accompanied by three flight attendants and 28 passengers for the brief hop right down to Zurich. There was presupposed to be a gaggle of 21 vacationers on the flight, however they by no means confirmed up, leaving the 97-seat airplane two-thirds empty. With the captain the pilot in command, the airplane took off from Berlin 21 minutes delayed at 21:01 native time.
The runway for touchdown was modified on the final minute
Half an hour into the flight, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) captured Captain Lutz, giving his first officer a protracted and pointless lecture about decoding runway experiences. Just a few moments later, the primary officer received his personal again from him by telling Lutz that he had let his velocity get too excessive, forcing the captain to ease again on the throttle.
Because the flight entered Zurich airspace about an hour after taking off from Berlin, Captain Lutz ready to land on Zurich’s runway 14. Unbeknownst to the pilots, Germany and Switzerland had just lately agreed to a noise abatement coverage that prohibited flights from touchdown on Runway 14 after 22:00. Zurich air site visitors management knowledgeable the airplane that they’d be touchdown on Runway 28. After having been informed of the change of runway Captain Lutz grew to become pissed off, however out loud, he mentioned, “OK, that is high quality.”
With poor visibility on account of low cloud, a earlier Crossair flight reported that they might not see the runway till they have been two miles out. At 21:58, the airplane was cleared for touchdown on Runway 28 and turned to make its closing method. As they descended, the lights of a village grew to become seen, prompting the captain to say he had the bottom in sight.
Now shedding altitude at a fee of 1,200 ft per minute, the airplane was nonetheless properly wanting the runway. Regardless of not with the ability to see the runway, Captain Lutz continued his descent beneath the glide path, crashing right into a hillside close to the village of Bassersdorf, two and a half miles wanting the airport. Because the airplane broke up and caught hearth, solely two flight attendants and 7 passengers have been capable of escape from the wreckage.
The investigation into Crossair Flight 3597
Not lengthy after the crash, the Swiss Plane Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) decided that it was a managed flight into terrain. The accident was attributable to a sequence of pilot errors and navigation errors that had put the airplane astray. The report additionally famous that Captain Lutz had did not observe appropriate touchdown and navigation procedures on earlier flights. Regardless of this, Crossair continued to let him fly though he had practically crashed whereas attempting to land at Lugano Airport (LUG).