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Accident description
Last updated: 12 December 2017
Date:Monday 16 February 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic A306 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A300B4-622R
Operator:China Airlines
Registration: B-1814
C/n / msn: 578
First flight: 1990-10-16 (7 years 4 months)
Total airframe hrs:20193
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney PW4158
Crew:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Passengers:Fatalities: 182 / Occupants: 182
Total:Fatalities: 196 / Occupants: 196
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 7
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Taipei-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (TPE) (   Taiwan)
Crash site elevation: 33 m (108 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport (DPS/WADD), Indonesia
Destination airport:Taipei-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (TPE/RCTP), Taiwan
The Airbus carried out a ILS/DME runway 05L approach to Taipei Chiang Kai Shek Airport in light rain and fog when the it came in 1000 feet too high on the glide slope (at 1515 feet, 1,2nm short of the threshold). Go around power was applied 19 seconds later over the threshold (at 1475 feet agl). The gear was raised and the flaps set to 20deg as the Airbus climbed through 1723 feet in a 35-deg pitch-up. Reaching 2751 feet (42.7 deg pitch-up, 45 knots speed) the aircraft stalled. Control couldn't be regained as the aircraft struck the ground 200 feet left off the runway, hit a utility pole and a highway median. It then skidded into several houses, surrounded by fish farms, rice paddies, factories and warehouses, and exploded. Weather was 2400 feet visibility, RVR runway 05L of 3900 feet, 300 feet broken ceiling, 3000 feet overcast.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The investigation team determined that the the following factors combination caused the accident:
1. during all the descent and the approach, the aircraft was higher than the normal path;
2. the crew coordination between the captain and the first officer was inadequate.
3. during 12 seconds, the crew did not counteract the pitch up tendency due to the thrust increase after go around, and then the reaction of the crew was not sufficient.
As a consequence the pitch up increased until the aircraft stalled."

Loss of control

» Aviation Week & Space Technology 16.03.1998 (34-35)
» Aviation Safety Council Statistics 1996-2005
» Flight International 11-17.03.1998 (9)

Follow-up / safety actions
With help from Lufthansa, China Airlines re-evaluated and retrained all of its 670 pilots with an intent to make older ex-military pilots better team players.
The airline established a task force to improve flight safety following the crash.


photo of Airbus A300-622R B-1814
photo of Airbus A300-622R B-1814
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport to Taipei-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport as the crow flies is 3802 km (2376 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Airbus A300

  • 561 built
  • 17th loss
  • 7th fatal accident
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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