No Dutch charges over 2009 Turkish Airlines crash

Apr 26 2012

Dutch prosecutors have decided not to charge Turkish Airlines and Boeing over a 2009 crash in which nine people died.

The Boeing 737-800 jet, carrying 135 passengers and crew, came down in a field near Schiphol airport in an accident blamed on a faulty altimeter.

Prosecutors said no crime was committed, but the pilots did not keep to protocol for a sudden dip in height.

Both pilots died in the crash and prosecutors believe they should have aborted the landing.

Other pilots who had handled the plane on earlier flights had already experienced problems with the altimeter but had not logged them, Dutch media say. However, because the offence did not take place in the Netherlands, the Dutch authorities do not consider it a matter for their courts.

According to the prosecutors' final report, 737s are considered "extremely safe" and altimeter issues are seen as a technical rather than a safety problem. The pilots should have found a solution, they say.

The inaccurate readings on the altimeter led to the plane acting as if it was in the final phase of landing and reduced the aircraft's speed too much. But the danger signs were not noticed and the pilots reacted too late, the report said.

The plane, flying in from Istanbul on 25 February 2009, crashed into a muddy field and broke into three pieces. The Boeing did not catch fire but 120 of the 135 people on board were injured and nine killed.

According to a group representing victims of the accident, many of those injured have recently received compensation from the plane manufacturer, although the sum involved is not being disclosed.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News 2012 BBC

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