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Last updated: 26 April 2019
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Monday 16 January 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic B744 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-412F
Operator:ACT Airlines
On behalf of:Turkish Cargo
Registration: TC-MCL
C/n / msn: 32897/1322
First flight: 2003-01-13 (14 years )
Total airframe hrs:46820
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney PW4056
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 35
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) W of Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU) (   Kyrgyzstan)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG/VHHH), Hong Kong
Destination airport:Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU/UCFM), Kyrgyzstan
A Boeing 747-412F cargo plane was destroyed after impacting terrain near Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU). All four crew members and 35 persons on the ground were killed.
Flight 6491 departed Hong Kong on a cargo service to Istanbul, carrying a load of 85618 kgs. An en route refueling and crew change stop was planned at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Weather at Bishkek was poor with winds from 60°at 1 m/s and a visibility (RVR) of 400m at the beginning of the runway; 350m at the mid-point and 400m at the end of the runway. Vertical visibility was 50 m. Air temperature was -9°C, dew point -10°C, pressure (QNH) was 1023,9 hPa.
The initial descent towards Bishkek was normal. The crew contacted Approach Control at 07:06 hours and were cleared for a descent to FL060 as per TOKPA 1 STAR (Standard terminal arrival route). The aircraft overflew the TOPKA reporting point at 07:11 at FL092 while in descent. According to the approach chart, FL060 or above should be reached when overflying TOKPA.
Shortly afterwards the controller cleared the flight for an ILS approach to runway 26. At 07:12 the controller cleared the crew for further descent to altitude 3400 ft. The aircraft was meanwhile crossing FL074. The crew was busy monitoring the flight altitude and was aware they were higher than the STAR chart.
The localizer was capture at 3600 ft agl. At that time the altitude should have been 1345 ft agl (3400 ft amsl).
At 07:15:21 after the crew confirmed capturing the localizer, the flight was handed over to Tower Control.
At a distance of 1.7 nm the aircraft reached 3400 ft amsl and the ALT HOLD OPER autopilot mode was engaged longitudinally. At that point the flight was already over 400 ft above the glideslope. The glideslope mode was armed (G/S MODE ARM), but the glideslope was not captured.
At 07:15:31 while the aircraft was in level flight at 3400 ft amsl Outer Marker overflight was recorded (as per the approach chart Outer Marker overflight altitude is 2800 ft amsl).
A glideslope signal was captured at 07:15:52, at that time the aircraft was almost over VOR/DME MANAS at a distance of approximately 1.1 nm from the runway 26 threshold, at an angle of approximately 9°. However, as per the approach chart, the rated glideslope angle is 3°. The aircraft automatically initiated descent with a vertical speed of up to 1425 ft/min.
Six seconds after the glideslope capture LAND 3 autoland status annunciation was recorded. The crew called out the annunciation.
At 07:16:01 at 3300 ft amsl the aircraft crossed the Middle Marker (as per the approach chart MM overflight altitude is 2290 ft amsl). After the glideslope descent was initiated the glideslope pointer was fluctuating within - 4 to + 4 dots.
At 07:16:07, at 3150 ft amsl, AP CAUTION and FMA FAULT 2 events were recorded. These events were continuously recorded almost until the end of the flight. An FMA FAULT 2 means that the autopilot can no longer track the actual glideslope, but will track a constant 3° glide path until a valid glideslope signal is regained or until the crew intervenes by disengaging the autopilot or initiating a go-around.
As the aircraft was descending LAND 3 status degraded to LAND 2, which was confirmed by the crew callout. LAND 2 means that the autopilot flight director system redundancy is reduced to the use of only two of the three autopilots.
The EGPWS 'Glideslope' alert was then triggered 5 times.
At 07:17:04 the flight crossed the runway 26 departure end at a height of about 110 ft. Decision height was 99 ft. The FO then called "Minimums" and the captain informed that there was no visual contact and called to go-around.
At 58 ft radar altitude the TOGA switch was pushed and engine power increased. 3.5 seconds after the TOGA switch had been pushed the aircraft hit slightly upsloping terrain and obstacles. The ground speed at the time of impact was 165 kt. The maximum recorded vertical acceleration was 6 g.
Initial impact occurred at a distance of approximately 930 m from the runway 26 departure end. It collided with a concrete airport fence and rolled into a holiday village. The aircraft broke up and spilt fuel caught fire.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Status: Investigation ongoing
Duration: 67 days (2 months)
Accident number: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report

Low visibility
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» Rosaviatsiya update

METAR Weather report:
01:00 UTC / 07:00 local time:
UCFM 160100Z VRB01MPS 0050 R26/0300N FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG

01:30 UTC / 07:30 local time:
UCFM 160130Z VRB01MPS 0150 R26/0550 FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG

Follow-up / safety actions

MAK issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-TC-MCL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: TC-MCL
photo of Boeing-747-412F-9V-SFL
accident date: 16-01-2017
type: Boeing 747-412F
registration: 9V-SFL

Video, social media

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
13 Jan. 2003 N5022E Boeing first flight
27 Feb. 2003 9V-SFL Singapore Airlines Cargo delivered
2 Dec. 2011 9V-SFL Singapore Airlines Cargo veered off runway at Singapore Changi Airport when trying to vacate rapid exit taxiway
5 Dec. 2015 TC-MCL MyCargo Airlines delivered
1 Jan. 2016 TC-MCL MyCargo Airlines operated for Qatar Airways Cargo
11 Jan. 2017 TC-MCL MyCargo Airlines operated for Turkish Airlines

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 Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok International Airport to Bishkek-Manas International Airport as the crow flies is 4269 km (2668 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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