2014-07-24 Swiftair McDD MD-83 crashed near Gossi, Mali – FINAL REPORT
THE FINAL REPORT
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Bureau d’Enquetes de d’Analyses
pour le securite de l’aviation civile
Causes of the crash
The aeroplane speed, piloted by the autothrottle, decreased due to the obstruction of the pressure sensors located on the engine nose cones, probably caused by ice crystals. The autopilot then gradually increased the angle of attack to maintain altitude until the aeroplane stalled. The stall was not recovered. The aeroplane retained a pitch-down attitude and left bank angle down to the ground, while the control surfaces remained mainly deflected pitch up and in the direction of a bank to the right. The aeroplane hit the ground at high speed. The accident was the result of a combination of the following events:
- the non-activation of the engine anti-icing systems
- the obstruction of the Pt2 pressure sensors, probably by ice crystals, generating erroneous EPR values that caused the autothrottle to limit the thrust produced by the engines to a level below that required to maintain the aeroplane at FL310. 126/170
- the crew’s late reaction to the decrease in speed and to the erroneous EPR values, possibly linked to the work load associated with avoiding the convective zone and communication difficulties with air traffic control.
- the crew’s lack of reaction to the appearance of buffet, the stickshaker and the stall warning.
- the lack of appropriate inputs on the flight controls to recover from a stall situation.
IR SAtellite Image of Weather 2230 on 2014-07-23
Wreckage Distribution Area 1 – 3
The aircraft was operating a scheduled passenger service from Ouagadougou to Algiers on behalf of Air Algérie, when ground stations lost contact to the flight about 50 minutes after departure (01:17L).
About 18 hours later, the wreckage of the MD-83 was spotted southwest of the town of Gossi about 50 km north of the Mali-Burkina Faso border.
However there were different statements made by algerian military, the aircraft may have come down between Gao and Kidal (over 250 Km north of Gao) in a remote desert region.
There were no survivors. Occupants numbers were corrected from 116 to 118 according to french officials. Several aircraft, including some French military planes, departed for a extensive search operation.
At the time flight AH 5017 overflew the border between Burkina Faso an Mali, severe weather with thunderstorm activity and an increaed risk of inflight icing was close to the aircraft´s flight path.
At 1:38 (21 min after departurte) the pilots asked for change in course due to a large storm cell ahead.
Preliminary analysis of FDR by french BEA authority showed a gradual loss of airspeed whilst circumflying a storm cell at 31000 feet. The airspeed decayed from 278 knots to 200 knots over a period of about 10 min until control was lost.(see images below)
Both digital flight data recorders have been found and are being retrived by UN troops and shipped to french BEA investigation bureau for further analysis.
On March 21 2014, the US Federal Aviation Adsministration has issued a travel alert and security warning for all aircraft flying over Mali –> FAA Intl Flight Information Manager (IFIM)
FAA quote: ..The security situation in the north remains fluid as evidenced by multiple rocket attacks near Gao and the February 17, 2014 launching of three rockets near Timbuktu airport…
Both flight recorders were recovered and shipped to leading french investingating party BEA in Paris.
Location: Gossi Region, southern Mali
Flight phase: ENR – Cruise, Descent, Holding
Damage to a/c: hull loss
Flight no.: DA 5017
From: DFFD/OUA: Ouagadougou (AD) To: DAAG/ALG: Alger Houuari Boumediene
Leased to: Air Algerie
Aircraft Type: McDD MD-83
Age a/c: 18,2 years
Constr. No.: 53190
- 51 France
- 28 Burkina Faso
- 8 Lebanon
- 6 Spain (Crew)
- 5 Canada
- 4 Algeria
- 4 Germany
- 2 Luxemburg
- 1 Switzerland
- 1 Belgium
- 1 Egypt
- 1 Ukraine
- 1 Nigeria
- 1 Cameroon
- 1 Mali
- 1 Romania
- 2 unknown
JACDEC 20-year Statistics :
- 139th hull loss of an McDD MD-80 (all times)
- 4th safety occurence for Swiftair
- 25th (and worst ever) air accident in Mali
Image & Information Sources
AP = Airport / AL = Airlines / Avn = Aviation / AW = Airways / C/N: Construction Number / DSP = Domestic Scheduled Passenger / DNP = Domestic Non-Scheduled Passenger / DSC = Domestic Scheduled Cargo / DNC= Domestic Non-Scheduled Cargo / GND = On the ground / parked, stored / FMN= Flying Mission, Air Work / FRY = Ferry-, Positioning Flight / IMC = Intrument Meteorological (flying) Conditions / ISP = International Scheduled Passenger / ISC=International Scheduled Cargo / INP = International Non-Scheduled Passenger / INC =International Non-Scheduled Cargo/ OPS = Flight Operation(s) / NRV = Non-revenue, Private Flight / TRN =Training Flight / TST = Test & Certification Flight / VMC = Visual Meteorological (flying) Conditions