Accident description
Last updated: 18 December 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 3 January 2004
Time:04:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-3Q8
Operator:Flash Airlines
Registration: SU-ZCF
C/n / msn: 26283/2383
First flight: 1992-10-09 (11 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:25603
Cycles:17976
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3C1
Crew:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 135 / Occupants: 135
Total:Fatalities: 148 / Occupants: 148
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:15 km (9.4 mls) S off Sharm el Sheikh (   Egypt) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sharm el Sheikh-Ophira Airport (SSH/HESH), Egypt
Destination airport:Cairo International Airport (CAI/HECA), Egypt
Flightnumber: 604
Narrative:
Weather was perfect (excellent visibility, 17 degrees C and a light breeze) when Flash Air flight 604 departed the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh for a flight to Paris-CDG with an intermediate stop at Cairo. On board were 135, mostly French, holidaymakers who were heading home.
At 04:38 the flight was cleared to taxi to runway 22R for departure. After takeoff, at 04:42, the plane climbed and maneuvered for a procedural left turn to intercept the 306 radial from the Sharm el-Sheikh VOR station. When the autopilot was engaged the captain made an exclamation and the autopilot was immediately switched off again. The captain then requested Heading Select to be engaged. The plane then began to bank to the right. The copilot then warned the captain a few times about the fact that the bank angle was increasing. At a bank angle of 40 degrees to the right the captain stated "OK come out". The ailerons returned briefly to neutral before additional aileron movements commanded an increase in the right bank.
The aircraft had reached a maximum altitude of 5460 feet with a 50 degrees bank when the copilot stated: "Overbank". Repeating himself as the bank angle kept increasing. The maximum bank angle recorded was 111 degrees right. Pitch attitude at that time was 43 degrees nose down and altitude was 3470 feet.
The observer on the flight deck, a trainee copilot, called "Retard power, retard power, retard power". Both throttles were moved to idle and the airplane gently seemed to recover from the nose-down, right bank attitude. Speed however increased, causing an overspeed warning. At 04:45 the airplane struck the surface of the water in a 24 degrees right bank, 24 degrees nose-down, at a speed of 416 kts and with a 3,9 G load.
The wreckage sank to a depth of approx. 900 metres.


CONCLUSION: "No conclusive evidence could be found from the findings gathered through this investigation to determin the probable cause. However, based on the work done, it could be concluded that any combination of these findings could have caused or contributed to the accident.
Although the crew at the last stage of this accident attempted to correctly recover, the gravity upset condition with regards to attitude, altitude and speed made this attempt insufficient to achieve a successful recovery."

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» AFP
» BEA
» Reuters

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Ministry of Civil Aviation, Central Administration for Aviation Accidents - Egypt
report status: Final
report number: Report su-f040103a
download report: Final report of the accident investigstation Flash Airlines flight 604 January 3, 2004 Boeing 737-300 SU-ZCF Red Sea off Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (ECAA Report su-f040103a)
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Photos

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Map
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 Sharm el Sheikh-Ophira Airport to Cairo International Airport as the crow flies is 374 km (233 miles).

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