Pieter van Vollenhoven: Meter Caused Plane Crash

  March 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm by

Prof. Mr. Pieter van Vollenhoven, bother-in-law of Dutch queen Beatrix, today announced that a faulty altitude meter probably is the cause of the crash of an airplane of Turkish Airways near Schiphol Airport one week ago. Nine people, including the three pilots, were killed when the Boeing 737-800 ploughed into a muddy field last Wednesday. Around 80 people got wounded, 28 of which are still in the hospital.

Pieter van Vollenhoven said that the counsil had decided to release the investigation’s preliminary findings as a ‘warning to Boeing’, to review the use of this altitude meter in combination with an automatic pilot. Further investigation will now focus on the altitude meter and the link with the automatic pilot system and the throttle. It will also look at two previous incidents involving altitude meters.

Click on image to see photo at www.volkskrant.nl

Click on image to see photo at www.volkskrant.nl

Van Vollenhoven is the chairman of the National Safety Council, which does research after the causes of the crash. While the plane flew on an altitude of 1950 ft. the meter showed the altitude as -8 ft. This led the engine to as if it was landing and shut down. The Boeing then dropped below the speed necessary to stay in the air. Once the crew realised what had happened, it was too late to recover. Eye-witnesses said the plane appeared to ‘drop like a stone’.

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