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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 191718
Last updated: 26 July 2017
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Time:ca 09:10 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B77W model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 777-3DZER
Owner/operator:Qatar Airways
Registration: A7-BAO
C/n / msn: 36011/750
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 379
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:16 NM north-north-west of Basel -   Switzerland
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA)
Destination airport:Doha Airport
Investigating agency: Schweizerische Unfalluntersuchungsstelle (SUST/SESA/SISI/SAIB)
The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, registered as A7-BAO, took off from Miami (KMIA) with the radio call sign QTR778 at 01:16 UTC on 19th November 2016 for the scheduled flight to Doha (OTHH). The aircraft was fuelled with 124.3 tonnes of fuel and its take-off weight was 346.9 tonnes. There were 4 pilots, 16 cabin crew members and 359 passengers on board.
QTR778 was at a cruising altitude of FL 350 approximately 35 NM north-west of Basel and flying towards the Trasadingen omnidirectional radio beacon when crew A, which was in the cockpit, established contact with the Skyguide M4 (upper sector) air traffic service at 09:06:31 UTC. Moments later, a strong odour developed in the cockpit. After the flight, both flight crews concurred in their statements that it was an electrical smell. As commander A subsequently felt somewhat unwell ("dizzy"), he donned his oxygen mask.
The flight crew summoned a member of the cabin crew to the cockpit in order to ask if they noticed anything. Those present had the impression that the development of the odour initially abated, but then reoccurred. From 09:13:41 UTC, both pilots used their oxygen masks. Crew B was subsequently informed. A cockpit display pertaining to a cooling system was mentioned in the process. Copilot A later stated that this concerned the status message EQUIP COOLING FAN R. The decision to make a diversion landing in Zurich (LSZH) was taken.
At 09:15:04 UTC, the flight crew issued the 'Mayday' distress message over Schaffhausen. At the same time, they informed the air traffic controller about the presence of smoke in the cockpit and requested a diversion landing in Zurich. Following that, the air traffic controller immediately gave the flight crew of QTR778 instructions for their descent towards Zurich.
At 09:17:11 UTC, commander B, who was by now in the cockpit, informed the cabin services director of the diversion landing in Zurich, which was to take place in ten minutes. At the same time, the air traffic controller told the crew to expect an approach to runway 16 using the instrument landing system (ILS) and mentioned that for the time being only a category I approach was possible, and not a category II approach.
At 09:18:16 UTC, the flight crew of QTR 778 informed the air traffic controller of their intention to dump fuel and asked whether they could do so along the flight path for the final approach.
Authorisation to do so was subsequently granted. Assisted by commander B, the flight crew then worked through the fuel jettison checklist and commenced dumping fuel on two occasions.
The flight crew subsequently contacted air traffic controller E (sector east), who informed the flight crew that a category III ILS 16 instrument landing approach was now possible. Thereafter, the flight crew enquired about the meteorological visibility.
After the flight crew of QTR778 had received clearance to descend to FL130, a discussion ensued in the cockpit concerning a malfunction of the fuel dumping system and whether the weather necessitated a category III instrument landing approach. At 09:22:37 UTC, a member of the flight crew discovered that fuel dumping was working again.
At 09:22:39 UTC, the flight crew requested the current weather report for Zurich. The air traffic controller reported wind from 270 degrees at 10 knots, 9 km of visibility, increasing cloud at between 1000 ft and 4000 ft above the airport altitude and a temperature of 8 C. The flight crew confirmed the visibility of 9000 m and stated that they would execute a category I ILS approach and perform an overweight landing. In this context, a relatively long discussion was held regarding the rate of climb in the event of a go-around.
At 09:24:29 UTC, the flight crew made contact with the 'final' air traffic controller. The controller continued radar vectoring for an ILS approach for runway 16 and informed the flight crew that the fire brigade was standing by.
At 09:27:57 UTC, the flight crew of QTR778 was directed to turn to a southerly heading and descend to 6000 ft QNH. After removing his oxygen mask, a member of the flight crew noted that smoke could no longer be detected and that there was no longer a need for hurry. At 09:28:46 UTC, the air traffic controller gave the instruction to follow the localiser for runway 16.
At 09:30:05 UTC, the flight crew received clearance to make an ILS 16 approach. After enquiring of the cabin crew, the flight crew was also informed that the cabin was not yet ready for
landing. They therefore requested a longer approach path and were subsequently instructed to turn left on a heading of 140 degrees and maintain an altitude of 5000 ft QNH. All members of the flight crew were now removing their oxygen masks.
At 09:33:05 UTC, the flight crew reported their readiness to make an approach, whereupon they were directed to turn to a heading of 290 degrees. At 09:34:00 UTC, control of the aircraft was handed over to the commander for the landing as stipulated by the operating procedures. At 09:37:33 UTC, the air traffic controller granted clearance to land on runway 16 and reported that the wind was 12 knots from 220. At 09:38:10 UTC, the flight crew was directed to contact the tower. At 09:38:19 UTC, it was stated that the landing checklist had been completed. At 09:38:23 UTC, the flight crew contacted the 'tower' air traffic controller. At that time, the aircraft was 5 NM from runway 16. The air traffic controller repeated the landing clearance and reported that the wind was 11 knots from 220.
At around 400 ft above ground, the autopilot was switched off. The aircraft touched down at 09:40:27 UTC. While the aircraft was still on landing roll, the air traffic controller enquired as to how the flight crew intended to proceed. The crew indicated that they would stop on the runway and requested that the aircraft then be checked for signs of smoke development from the outside. At 09:41:33 UTC, the 'tower' air traffic controller informed the flight crew that no development of smoke could be observed.
At 09:42:08 UTC, the flight crew requested instructions to taxi and leave the runway. At 09:42:33 UTC, a member of the flight crew noted that the status message EQUIP COOLING FAN R, which had previously been observed, had disappeared. In response to an enquiry from the air traffic controller, the flight crew stated that the situation on board was normal. At 09:44:11 UTC, the flight crew reported that they had the marshaller in sight, and taxied to stand C55. The passengers left the aircraft in the normal way.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 220 days (7 months)
Accident number: A7-BAO
Download report: Summary report


Revision history:

26-Nov-2016 09:49 harro Added
03-Jul-2017 18:46 harro Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Narrative, Photo, ]

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