ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-330C ST-AKW Sharjah Airport (SHJ)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 21 October 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-330C
Operating for:Sudan Airways
Leased from:AZZA Transport
Registration: ST-AKW
MSN: 20123/788
First flight: 1969
Total airframe hrs:77484
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,6 km (1 mls) NW of Sharjah Airport (SHJ) (   United Arab Emirates)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Sharjah Airport (SHJ/OMSJ), United Arab Emirates
Destination airport:Khartoum-Civil Airport (KRT/HSSS), Sudan
A Boeing 707 cargo plane, owned by Azza Transport, was destroyed when it crashed in a desert area immediately after takeoff from Sharjah Airport (SHJ). The airplane operated on Sudan Airways flight SUD2241 and was carrying air conditioning units, auto parts, computers and personal effects. The flight took off from runway 30 at 15:29. During initial climb, the core cowls of engine no. 4 separated and fell on the runway.

The aircraft continued in a shallow climb with level wings when the pilot informed the ATC that he lost engine no.4. He assumed this because the no. 4 Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR) manifold flex line had ruptured, leading to erroneous reading on the EPR indicator. The crew interpreted the EPR reading as a failure of no. 4 engine; accordingly they declared engine loss and requested the tower to return to the airport.
The aircraft went into a right turn, banked and continuously rolled to the right at a high rate, sunk, and impacted the ground with an approximately 90° right wing down attitude.

Probable Cause:

(a) the departure of the No. 4 engine core cowls;
(b) the consequent disconnection of No. 4 engine EPR Pt7 flex line;
(c) the probable inappropriate crew response to the perceived No. 4 engine power loss;
(d) the Aircraft entering into a stall after the published maximum bank angle was exceeded; and
(e) the Aircraft Loss of Control ("LOC") that was not recoverable.

Contributing Factors to the Accident were:
(a) the Aircraft was not properly maintained in accordance with the Structure Repair Manual where the cowls had gone through multiple skin repairs that were not up to aviation standards;
(b) the Operator's maintenance system failure to correctly address the issues relating to the No. 4 engine cowls failure to latch issues;
(c) the failure of the inspection and maintenance systems of the maintenance organization, which performed the last C-Check, to address, and appropriately report,
the damage of the No. 4 engine cowls latches prior to issuing a Certificate of Release to Service;
(d) the Operator's failure to provide a reporting system by which line maintenance personnel report maintenance deficiencies and receive timely and appropriate guidance and correction actions;
(e) the Operator's quality system failure to adequately inspect and then allow repairs that were of poor quality or were incorrectly performed to continue to remain on the Aircraft; and
(f) the SCAA safety oversight system deficiency to adequately identify the Operator's chronic maintenance, operations and quality management deficiencies.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: GCAA UAE
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 5 months
Accident number: 10/2009
Download report: Final report


Loss/opening of engine cowling

» UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)

Follow-up / safety actions
AZZA Transport was temporarily banned by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) as of October 25, 2009. This was considered a preventive measure until investigations into the cause of the accident are completed.

GCAA issued 9 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Boeing-707-330C-ST-AKW
accident date: 21-10-2009
type: Boeing 707-330C
registration: ST-AKW
photo of Boeing-707-330C-ST-AKW
accident date: 21-10-2009
type: Boeing 707-330C
registration: ST-AKW
photo of Boeing-707-330C-ST-AKW
photo of Boeing-707-330C-ST-AKW
accident date: 21-10-2009
type: Boeing 707-330C
registration: ST-AKW
photo of Boeing-707-330C-ST-AKW
accident date: 21-10-2009
type: Boeing 707-330C
registration: ST-AKW

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 Sharjah Airport to Khartoum-Civil Airport as the crow flies is 2604 km (1628 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 707

  • 858 built
  • 172nd loss
  • 75th fatal accident
  • 42nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 43rd worst accident (currently)
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 United Arab Emirates
  • 8th worst accident
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