Pilot Error, Bad Weather Caused Shymkent Plane Crash
Tuesday 22 January 2013
ASTANA (Kazinform) – The crash of the An-72 plane with border guards on board near Shymkent on December 25, 2012 was caused by technical failure and crew error.
As announced at a press briefing by Nurdaulet Suindikov, spokesman for the Prosecutor General Office, the investigation commission found out that the take-off and ascending were performed normally. During the flight the autopilot failed, and the flight continued under manual mode, which is not against the rules. However, later the captain gave control of the airplane to the co-pilot, which is a violation. Furthermore, because of a faulty radio altimeter the flight continued on indications of malfunctioning barometric altitude measurement devices.
During the flight, the plane became covered with ice. The aircraft began to descend in poor visibility. Moreover, the captain did not follow the instruction of the flight operation officer to use the barometric altimeter. The emergence of an obstacle in the form of a slope of ravine in the last minutes of flight was a surprise for the crew.
Thus, the causes of the accident were the technical problems, the error of the crew commander, bad weather – severe icing and poor visibility.