Bek Air Fokker 100 Crashes In Almaty

Photo by Unknown.

A Kazakhstani plane with 98 people (93 passengers and 5 crew) aboard crashed shortly after takeoff early Friday, 27th November 2019. According to Kazakh officials, at least 12 people were killed while 49 were hospitalized with injuries. 

The Bek Air Fokker 100, registration UP-F1007 performing flight Z9-2100 from Almaty to Nur-Sultan, departed Almaty's runway 05R at 07:21 AM local time but lost altitude shortly after departure. It then broke through a concrete wall and impacted a building. No fire broke out, however, the aircraft broke into several sections. 66 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries while 12 people were confirmed to have perished (including the Captain of the flight) and another 12 remain in hospital care according to Kazakhstan's Ministry of Health.

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev sent condolences to the families and relatives of those killed in the crash. Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar reported that preliminary results by the investigation commission suggest the aircraft struck its tail onto the runway surface twice with a distance of 300-400 meters in between. At the end of the runway, the aircraft turned sharply to the right having already retracted the landing gear. The runway conditions were however perfect, and the weather in Almaty was reportedly clear with mild below-freezing temperatures common at this time of the year. The investigation commission is, therefore, looking into human error or technical reasons for the aircraft's crash, with the flight data and cockpit voice recorders having been recovered.

Photo by Aidyn Iskakov | Almaty Spotting Club.

Following the accident, Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Authority reported that Bek Air's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) had been suspended, and all Fokker 100 aircraft in Kazakhstan grounded. The aircraft involved in the accident had entered service on Apr 8th, 1996, while it's airworthiness certificate was last renewed on May 22nd, 2019.

A survivor reported the aircraft had climbed a little bit when it began shaking then a collision occurred. Someone reportedly opened the emergency exit and the passengers got out. Another passenger reported the aircraft had just rotated and was beginning to gain altitude when the aircraft rolled left then right, then an impact occurred. The overwing exit was opened, after which the victims crawled out of the aircraft via an icy wing.

Kazakhstan’s air safety record is far from spotless. In 2009, all Kazakh airlines with the exception of the flagship carrier Air Astana were banned from operating in the European Union because they did not meet international safety standards. The ban was only lifted in 2016.

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