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Accident
Last updated: 4 September 2015
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:vendredi 11 décembre 1998
Heure:19:08
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic A310 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A310-204
Compagnie:Thai Airways International
Immatriculation: HS-TIA
Numéro de série: 415
Année de Fabrication: 1986-03-03 (12 years 10 months)
Heures de vol:23028
Cycles:22031
Moteurs: 2 General Electric CF6-80C2A2
Equipage:victimes: 11 / à bord: 14
Passagers:victimes: 90 / à bord: 132
Total:victimes: 101 / à bord: 146
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:0,7 km (0.4 milles) S of Surat Thani Airport (URT) (   Thaïlande)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD), Thaïlande
Aéroport de destination:Surat Thani Airport (URT/VTSB), Thaïlande
Numéro de vol: 261
Détails:
Thai Flight TG261 left Bangkok, Thailand at 17:54 for a domestic flight to Surat Thani.
At 18:26 hours, the co-pilot first established contact with the Surat Thani approach controller while the aircraft was 70 nautical miles away from Surat Thani Airport.
The controller radioed that the crew could expect a VOR/DME instrument approach to runway 22. At that time surface wind was calm with a visibility of 1500 meters, light rain and a cloud base of 1800 feet.
At 18:39 hours the co-pilot contacted Surat Thani aerodrome controller and reported over the Intermediate Fix (IF). The controller informed him that the precision approach path indicators (PAPI) on the right side of runway 22 were unserviceable while the left lights were in use.
At 18:41 hours, the co-pilot reported passing final approach fix (FAF). The controller informed the pilot that the aircraft was not in sight but it was cleared to land on runway 22. The surface wind was blowing from 310 degrees at a velocity of 5 knots so the pilots should be careful or the slippery runway.
At 18:42 hours, the co-pilot reported that the runway was in sight and later on the controller also had the aircraft in sight. The pilot decided to go-around. The controller asked the pilot about the distance where the runway could be seen. The co-pilot reported that it could be seen at 3 nautical miles and requested for the second approach. The controller requested to report over FAF . When the co-pilot reported that the flight was over the FAF again, the controller cleared the flight to land although he again could not see the runway.
When the flight crew failed to observe the runway lights, the captain decided to go around again.
Again the controller instructed the flight to report over the FAF and reported that visibility had decreased to 1000 meters in light rain.
At 19:05, after reporting over the FAF, the flight was cleared to land on runway 22. The flight maintained the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) but the crew were unable to see the runway. The autopilot was disconnected and a little later the captain decided to go around. The pitch attitude increased continuously.
The pitch attitude reached approximately 40 degrees, when the pilot applied the elevator decreasing the pitch attitude to 32-33 degrees. When he discontinued applying elevator the pitch increased to 47-48 degrees. Consequently the speed decreased to 100 knots.
The captain was not aware of the attitude due to stress and the expectation that the go around was flown exactly like the first two go-arounds. The airplane lost altitude until it impacted terrain to the left of the runway.


Probable Causes:
After careful consideration. the Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee of the Kingdom of Thailand ultimately came to the conclusion that the accident occurred because the aircraft entered into stall condition which might be caused by the followings:
1. The pilot attempted to approach the airport in lower than minimum visibility with rain.
2. The pilot could not maintain the VOR course as set forth in the approach chart. The aircraft flew left of VOR course on every approach.
3. The pilots suffered from the accumulation of stress and were not aware of the situation until the aircraft emered into the upset condition.
4. The pilots had not been informed of the document concerning the wide-body airplane upset recovery provided by Airbus Industrie for using in pilot training.
5. The lighting system and approach chart did not facilitate the low visibility approach.
6. Stall warning and pitch trim systems might not fully function as described in the FCOM and AMM.

Sources:
» Aircraft Accident Investigation Report Thai Airways International Company Limited Airbus A310-204, HS-TIA


Photos

photo of Airbus A310-204 HS-TIA
photo of Airbus A310-204 HS-TIA
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
03 MAR 1986 F-WWBI Airbus first flight
29 APR 1986 HS-TIA Thai Airways

Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport et Surat Thani Airport est de 552 km (345 miles).

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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