Narrative:Swiss flight 850 departed Basel at 17:55 ten minutes later than its scheduled departure time. The flight was unable to land in Hamburg owing to storm front conditions. Subsequent attempts to land at Bremen, Hannover and Berlin also had to be aborted in view of the adverse weather in the area. The crew then made an approach to Finow near Berlin, but overshot and with the fuel remaining approaching the minimum reserve, the crew asked air traffic control to urgently provide it with an open alternate airport. They were then directed to Werneuchen, a former Soviet military airfield some 60 kms northeast of Berlin. Werneuchen's unlighted runway has a length of 7,300 ft/2,400m but has no approach aids. Air traffic control warned the crew for an obstacle on the runway. This obstacle was a 3 ft/1 m earth embankment laid across the runway, some 900 m/2,700 feet past the runway threshold which was done to prevent illegal car races on the runway. The remaining runway was still used for general aviation flights. The Swiss Air Lines crew failed to see the obstacle and the Saab touched down some 300 m past the runway threshold. The aircraft collided with the embankment, causing all landing gears to be sheared off.
METAR reports for the airports around the time of the flight were:
EDDH 101720Z 28017KT 3500 TSRA FEW005 SCT010 BKN017CB 14/13 Q1008 NOSIG=
EDDH 101750Z 28019G30KT 9999 TSRA FEW005 SCT014CB BKN120 14/12 Q1009 NOSIG=
EDDW 101750Z 34010KT 8000 -RA BKN008 BKN032 13/11 Q1009 RETS NOSIG=
EDDT 101820Z VRB01KT 9999 FEW040CB SCT120 BKN260 29/17 Q1002 TEMPO 27025G55KT 2000 +TSRA BKN009 BKN015CB=
CAUSES: (translated from German original text)
- Dimension and intensity of the storm front and dynamics of the weather conditions
- Inadequate use of resources in decision-making during the flight (pro-active)
- Loss of alternative landing facilities at increasing time pressure (reactive)
- Landing of the aircraft outside the operating area of an aerodrome
- Collision with the embankment due to the non-detection of an obstacle
- Inadequate information on weather conditions and development before and during the flight
- Inadequate information on the Werneuchen Special Airfield due to an ambiguous map display as well as misleading or lack of communication
- Inadequate labeling/marking of the operational and non-operational areas of the airport.
» Büro für Flugunfalluntersuchungen
Official accident investigation report
|investigating agency: ||Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung (BFU) - Germany |
|report status: ||Final|
|report number: ||BFU AX002-0/02|
|report released:||1 October 2010|
|duration of investigation: ||8 years and 3 months|
|download report: ||
Untersuchungsbericht Saab 2000 Werneuchen
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 Basel/Mulhouse-EuroAirport to Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Airport as the crow flies is 688 km (430 miles).