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April 7, 1999

Another Boeing 737 Fatal Crash

A Boeing 737-400 owned and operated by Turkish Airlines, 9 minutes after take off and after reaching an altitude of 11,000 ft crashed April 7 in southern Turkey, near the town of Adnana, killing all six crew members on board. The aircraft carried no passengers.

Aviation Week and Space Technology, April 12, 1999 issue (page 18) reports that:

"The day after the accident, Yusuf Bolayiri, the heard of Turkish Airlines, said an initial investigation indicated that problems with the wires controlling the vertical stabilizer were apparently the cause. The aircraft hydraulic system had also 'collapsed.' The tail reportedly broke off from the fuselage before the aircraft crashed into a field near the town of Ceyhan."

This crash came about approximately one month after the FAA ruled out 737 rudder malfunctions as being the cause of fatal 1991 and 1994 crashes. At this writing no one knows exactly what caused the crash but the separation of the tail prior to the crash is a reminder of the fuselage weakness inherent in conventional aircraft as was dramatically demonstrated by the Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 whose top simply peeled off during flight.



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