Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Antonov 72-100, UP-72859: Accident occurred December 25, 2012 in Kazakhstan


The general prosecution of Kazakhstan has announced the results of investigation into the Antonov An-72 plane crash on December 25th. Additionally, they have presented fragments of information recorded by the flight data recorder and the scheme of the crash. 

The scheme presents the last seconds before the collision of the plane. At that moment the Antonov An-72 had already begun landing in the normal mode, extending its landing gear. The crew did not know that there was an obstacle ahead because of the zero visibility due to the foggy conditions. In addition, most of the instruments either gave incorrect information or did not work at all.

Proceeding from recoding of pilots’ conversations, barometric devices they used were always showing a different height. However, there were no reports about equipment failure. Moreover, the commander didn’t follow the instruction of a flight operator to set the pressure level of the Shymkent airport in the barometer. As a result, the Antonov An-72 collided with a slope gully at 18:54 Astana time. Nobody survived the plane crash. Criminal investigation of the crash of the aircraft is still underway. The General Prosecutor’s Office sent an international investigating commission to Ukraine, where renovations of the aircraft took place prior to the crash. So far, the prosecution believes that the sum total of three factors have become the reason for a plane crash.


- The first factor is the breakdown of the airborne equipment, including failure of the automatic pilot system and radioaltimeter and failures in the barometric height measurement devices. The second factor is a mistake of a crew chief during the aircraft’s operation. He hadn’t switched on the low-range early warning system while landing, unlawfully transferred the airplane control to the co-pilot and failed to set the pressure level of the Shymkent airport in the barometer. And the third factor was bad weather, snow and rain, freezing fog, low visibility and heavy icing.

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