Thai Airways 365
The Thai airways flight 365, Boeing 737-2P5 belonged to Thai Airline Company. The Thai airlines Boeing with a registration number HS-TBC, departed from Hat Yai international airport in Thailand to Phuket International Airport on 31 August 1987. On arrival at Phuket International Airport 155, which is miles away, it entered a stall and trampled into the Andaman Sea. The cause of the accident was termed as pilot error and loss of control.
The Boeing plane in question had 83 people: 9 crew and 74 passengers. The plane departed from Hat Yai International Airport, a commercial center which is located 155 miles east of Phuket in smooth circumstance. The aircraft was procured by the Thai airways in the year 1980 and had served Thai Airways for seven years, with total16963 airframe hours. It had not detailed any incidents or any malfunctions before. It had served its first flight on 25th July 1980 and had successfully maintained full performance since then with no records of catastrophes. The condition of the plane was good and every detail and safety regulation was confirmed before departure. The meteorological and prevailing weather circumstances were favorable at the time the accident (Gero, 20).
The Cause of the Crush
When the flight was approaching Phuket on the radial 119 from Hat Yai, there was another flight approaching the same airport on the radial 090. A Boeing 737, carrying 62 passengers, was reported at 2500 feet with Thai 365 directly in front of it. The Thai Boeing 365 was at 3000 feet and 13 miles from Phuket International Airport. The Dragon Air Flight, Boeing 737 was first precedence in the established approach sequence. It had navigated right at 12 DME and was then going to twist right inbound for finals for runway 27.
The Thai crew concluded that the other crew was claiming a false position report to win landing precedence. Therefore, they reported hastily that they had marked 8 DME inbound and they latter requested visual approach. The crew had not yet reached 8 DME and, therefore, it resulted in confusion and chaos. The misinformation compelled Air Traffic Control (ATC), the Phuket Approach Team to give Thai 365 a landing priority at 08:35 (Gero, 21).
The Boeing 737 crew, after gauging the situation, reported a warning that the Thai plane was not able to descend through their flight level. A conflict was, therefore, established between the two flights and the Air Traffic Control. Because of this conflict, the Phuket Approach Team failed to advice accordingly. The Thai crew in an effort to cover for the misunderstanding raised the landing gear. It tried to speed up and allow the other plane to safely engage onto the runway for landing. The efforts proved ineffectual since the plane, Thai 365 crushed-entered an overhead stall and crushed into the Andaman Sea, which is eight miles from the airport. The Dragonair Boeing 373 with 127 passengers landed safely (Gero, 23).
According to the filed report, the Thai Boeing 365 crew was held responsible for the disaster. The pilot upon receiving the first priority to hit the runway prepared for landing as advised by the Phuket Approach team. However, the pilot was unsure of the move and appeared to be worried about making it first to the runway. This worry was fueled by the complains from the other crew, Dragonair Boeing 737, the crew raised a concern that Boeing 365 was above him and so could not be able to move down past his level. When it was too late, the pilot of Boeing 365 engaged power and raised the gear. However, the pilot failed to implement recuperation before hitting the sea. This led to the massive destruction evidenced in the plane (Gero, 44).
The accident was so catastrophic that there were no survivors. It was reported that all 83 people aboard were killed. There were two American among the 37 foreigners on the plane, which also had 30 Malaysians, 2 Japanese and 3 Europeans. It also included other 35 Thai personalities and two children accompanying adults. Seventeen bodies were discovered on the day of the incident, but the search was interfered by high winds and poor visibility. The sea search was conducted by a patrol vessel and twenty fishing boats. The boats looped the crushed area and checked the bodies from being swept into deeper waters of the sea (83 Feared Killed in Thai Air Crash).
The main cause of the Thai Airways Boeing 365 was summarized as loss of control, which resulted from poor communication from the crew of Boeing 365. The plane crushed as the crew tried to pave way for another plane, Dragon Air 365, which was close to landing at the same time. All this was stimulated by the lack of good communication between the three conflicting parties: the Boeing 365 crew, the Boeing 373 crew and the Phuket Approach Team. From this incidence, it is clear that good and precise communication is critical in aviation to avoid any serious or catastrophic eventualities. It is the poor communication from the crew of 365 that resulted in the loss of 83 people.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters, Second Edition. Patruck Stephens Limited, 1996. Print.
“83 Feared Killed in Thai Air Crash”. New York Times, September 1, 1987. Print.
26 Mar. 2016.