Narrative:A Yemenia Airways Airbus A310-324 passenger plane was destroyed when it struck the water and crashed off shore from the Comoros. The airplane was on approach to Moroni-Prince Said Ibrahim In Airport (HAH) runway 20 following an international flight from San'a International Airport (SAH).
Yemenia Airways Flight IY626 had 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. A young girl survived the accident.
The flight conducted a night-time approach to runway 02. At 5.2 DME the A310 was supposed to fly a visual circle-to-land procedure and land on runway 20.
The crew continued past the 5.2 DME point. After turning left the flight continued north over sea without making the procedure turn to finals for runway 20. The airplane entered a stall, from which it did not recover. It struck the surface of the sea and broke up.
The weather reported around the time of the accident (01:50 local, which is 22:50 UTC, June 29) was reported as follows:
FMCH 292200Z 18022G33KT 9999 FEW020 24/17 Q1018 NOSIG= [wind from 180 degrees at 22 knots, gusting to 33 knots; unlimited visibility; few clouds at 2000 feet; temperature 24°C, dew point 17°C; 1018 mb]
FMCH 292300Z 21025G35KT 9999 FEW020 25/16 Q1017 TEMPO 18015G30KT= [wind from 210 degrees at 25 knots, gusting to 35 knots; unlimited visibility; few clouds at 2000 feet; temperature 25°C, dew point 15°C; 1017 mb; temporary winds from 180 degrees at 15 knots, gusting to 30 knots]
The accident was caused by inappropriate actions of the crew on the flight controls which brought the aircraft into a stall that could not be recovered. These actions were successive to an unstabilized visual maneuvering, during which many different alarms related to the proximity to the ground, the aircraft configuration and approach to stall sounded. The crew's attention was focused on the management of the path of the aircraft and the location of the runway, and they probably did not have enough mental resources available in this stressful situation, to respond adequately to different alarms.
Contributing to the accident:
- The weather conditions at the airport (wind gusts around 30 kts).
- Lack of training or pre-flight briefing of the crew in accordance with the Yemenia company operations manual, given the reluctance of the pilot to execute the MVI [Visual Manoeuvring with Prescribed track] (none of the documents submitted in the investigation shows this training).
- The non-execution of the MVI maneuver by the crew (the plane left the LOC axis after the published point which is 5.2 NM), implying that the crew delayed the turn to reach the right hand downwind leg.
- The non-application by the crew of the procedure following the PULL UP-alarm.
Loss of control
» BEA - Point sur la participation du BEA à l'enquête dirigée par les autorités comoriennes
Official accident investigation report
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 San'a International Airport to Moroni-Prince Said Ibrahim In Airport as the crow flies is 2988 km (1868 miles).