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Mon, Mar 02, 2009

Investigators Say Turkish Airliner 'Fell Straight Down'

Survivors Says Engines Powered Up Immediately Before Impact

A spokesperson for the Dutch safety authority announced last week that a preliminary report on the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight TK1951 will probably be released by this Wednesday.

As ANN reported, a Boeing 737-800 operating as Turkish Airlines flight 1951 was inbound from Istanbul to Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam when it crashed a mile short of the runway on approach, resulting in nine fatalities and another 84 injured among the 134 passengers and crew onboard.

UK' Guardian reports Pieter van Vollenhoven, head of the Dutch safety authority, said the B737-800 had fallen almost straight down, and speculated that the airliner had experienced engine failure.

That assessment contradicts statements from those onboard the aircraft, however. Survivor Fred Gimpel told Dutch NOS news, "[It] just fell straight down and then you heard the engines at full power as if it was trying to go forwards. It probably went up too steeply and stalled, and then the tail hit the ground," which seemingly refutes van Vollenhoven's theory.

An international team of 40 investigators have converged on the crash site. The plane's "black boxes" have been recovered and sent to Paris for an in-depth analysis, with a preliminary report expected mid-week. Investigators are still exploring all possible scenarios that could have led to the crash, ranging from weather to fuel exhaustion, navigational errors, pilot fatigue or bird strikes.

FMI: www.safetyboard.nl, www.ntsb.gov, www.thy.com

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