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Encyclopedia > China Airlines Flight 611
China Airlines Flight 611
Summary
Date  25 May 2002
Cause  In-flight structural failure, Explosive decompression
Site  Taiwan Strait
Origin  Chiang Kai Shek International Airport
Destination  Hong Kong International Airport
Fatalities  225
Injuries  0
Aircraft
 Aircraft type  Boeing Boeing 747-200B
Operator  China Airlines
Tail number  B-18255
Passengers  206
Crew  19
Survivors  0

China Airlines Flight 611 Callsign: Dynasty 611 (CAL611, CI611) was a regularly scheduled flight from Chiang Kai Shek International Airport in Taoyuan to Hong Kong International Airport in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The flight crashed, killing all aboard on May 25, 2002. is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Explosive decompression (ED) is a sudden drop in pressure that occurs in 0. ... Taiwan Strait Area The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait is a 180km-wide Strait between mainland China and the island of Taiwan. ... Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE, ICAO: RCTP) (Traditional Chinese: or ; Simplified Chinese: ; Tongyong Pinyin: Táiwan Táoyuán Gúojì JichÇŽng, Pinyin: Táiwān Táoyuán Gúojì JÄ«chÇŽng), formerly Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongjhèng... Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) (Chinese: 香港國際機場; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 gwok3 zai3 gei1 coeng4; Mandarin Pinyin: ) is the principal airport in Hong Kong. ... The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA, TYO: 7661 ) is a major aerospace and defense corporation, originally founded by William Boeing. ... The Boeing 747, commonly nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, is a long-haul, widebody commercial airliner manufactured by Boeing. ... Not to be confused with Air China, the national airline of Peoples Republic of China. ... Not to be confused with Air China, the national airline of Peoples Republic of China. ... A view of the Chiang-Kai Shek International Airport Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (中正國際航空站, pinyin: Zhōngzhèng Gúojī Hángkōngzhàn) is located in Taiwan, Republic of China and is one of two airports that serve Taipei. ... Taoyuan County (桃園縣, pinyin: Táoyuán Xiàn, WG: Tao-yüan Hsien) is a county of Taiwan Province, Republic of China, located in the northwestern part of the island, next to Taipei County. ... Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) (Chinese: 香港國際機場; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 gwok3 zai3 gei1 coeng4; Mandarin Pinyin: ) is the principal airport in Hong Kong. ... Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: ; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...

Contents

Flight and disaster

On May 25, the flight took off at 2:50 p.m. local time for the 1 hour 20 minutes flight to Hong Kong. is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


About 20 minutes after takeoff, the aircraft disappeared from radar screens, suggesting the aircraft had experienced an in flight breakup at FL350 (35,000 feet), near the Penghu Islands at Taiwan Strait. All 19 crew members and 206 passengers were killed instantly in mid air. 190 of the deceased were from Taiwan, 14 from Hong Kong, 9 from Mainland China, 1 Singaporean, and 1 Swede. 3 were infants. 114 were in a group tour organized by five travel agencies to Hong Kong or the Mainland. The plane was expected to arrive at 4:28 p.m. The Pescadores Islands (Chinese: 澎湖群島; Wade-Giles: Peng-hu; Pinyin: Pénghú, from Portuguese, fishermen) are an archipelago in the Taiwan Strait. ... ...


Search, recovery and investigation

At 5:05 p.m., a military C130 aircraft spotted a crashed airliner 20 nautical miles (37 km) northeast of Makung. Oil slicks were also spotted at 5:05 p.m.. The first body was found at 6:10 p.m.. Makung (馬公 Pinyin: Mǎgōng) is the county seat of Penghu, in Taiwan Province, Republic of China. ...


Searchers recovered 162 bodies and 15 % of the wreckage, including part of the cockpit, and found no signs of burns, explosives or gunshots.


There was no distress signal or communication sent out prior to the crash. Radar data suggests that the aircraft broke into four pieces while at FL350. This theory is supported by the fact that articles which would have been found inside the aircraft (magazines, etc.) were found up to 80 miles (129 km) from the crash site. The weather and climate were normal. The CVR showed that the pilot did not detect any anomaly and was humming the famous oldie tune "When Will You Return?" by Teresa Teng. In aircraft, the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) are used to record aircraft and pilot behavior in order to analyze accidents, and are usually called black boxes by the news media. ... Teresa Teng (sometimes spelled Teresa Tang or Teresa Deng; Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn; Wade-Giles: Teng Li-chün) (January 29, 1953 - May 8, 1995), was a very famous singer from Taipei, Taiwan. ...


The flight data recorder from Flight 611 shows that the plane began gaining altitude at a significantly faster rate in the 27 seconds before the plane broke apart, although the extra gain in altitude was well within the plane's design limits. The plane was supposed to be leveling off then as it approached its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. Shortly before the breakup, one of the aircraft's four engines began providing slightly less thrust. By coincidence, the same engine is the only one that has been recovered so far from the sea floor.


Metal fatigue

The final investigation report found that the accident was the result of metal fatigue due to inadequate maintenance after a previous incident. The report finds that on February 7, 1980, the accident aircraft suffered a tailstrike occurrence in Hong Kong. The aircraft was then ferried back to Taiwan on the same day un-pressurized and a temporary repair was conducted the day after. A permanent repair was conducted on May 23 through 26, 1980. However, the permanent repair of the tail strike was not accomplished in accordance with the Boeing SRM, in that the area of damaged skin in Section 46 was not removed (trimmed) and the repair doubler did not extend sufficiently beyond the entire damaged area to restore the structural strength. Consequently, after repeated cycles of depressurization and pressurization during flights, the weakened hull started to crack gradually and finally broke open in flight on that flight, exactly 22 years after the faulty repair had been applied to the damaged tail. An explosive decompression of the aircraft occurred once the crack was broken, causing the complete disintegration of the aircraft mid-air. In materials science, fatigue is the progressive, localised, and permanent structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic or fluctuating strains at nominal stresses that have maximum values less than (often much less than) the static yield strength of the material. ... is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Tailstrike is a term used in aviation. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Explosive decompression (ED) is a sudden drop in pressure that occurs in 0. ...


This accident was similar to the Japan Airlines Flight 123 accident in Tokyo on August 12, 1985, which also involved a Boeing 747-SR aircraft with faulty repair work done after a tail strike many years before the final demise of the aircraft. In that accident, the tail section and the hydraulic control system was blown off by the pressure of the cabin and, subsequently the airliner became uncontrollable in mid-air around 24,000 feet. This Japan Airlines accident remains now as the most serious single aircraft accident in aviation history, with 505 passengers and 15 crew killed. Japan Airlines Flight 123 was a Japan Airlines domestic flight from Tokyo International Airport to Osaka International Airport. ... For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


Many family members of victims blamed the maintenance irregularities on the supposed "profit first, last, and only" corporate philosophy of the airline. China Airlines denied these charges.


Flight number

Flight 611 no longer exists. Shortly after the accident, China Airlines changed the flight number to 619, which now serves the Taipei - Hong Kong route along with existing flights 601, 603, 605, 607, 609, 613, 615, 617, and 803.


The Aircraft

The aircraft B-18255 involved, MSN 21843, was the only Boeing 747-200 passenger aircraft left in the China Airlines fleet at the time. It was delivered to the airline in 1979 and had logged 64,810 hours of flight time. The aircraft was in fact already sold to Orient Thai Airlines by China Airlines for US$1.45 million. The accident flight was the penultimate flight to have been operated by the aircraft for China Airlines. It was scheduled to be delivered to Orient Thai Airlines after its planned last flight, the return flight from Hong Kong to Taipei. The contract to sell the aircraft was void after the crash. The Boeing 747, commonly nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, is a long-haul, widebody commercial airliner manufactured by Boeing. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... OX redirects here. ...


The remaining four 747-200 freighters in China Airlines fleet were grounded immediately by Taiwan's CAA after the crash. They were allowed to return to service a few days later after maintenance checks.


See also

Japan Airlines flight 123 (JAL123, JL123), a Boeing 747-100SR-46, JA8119, crashed into Mount Osutaka in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, on August 12, 1985. ... China Airlines Flight 358 was a Boeing 747-2R7F that crashed on December 29, 1991 shortly after takeoff from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan. ... On October 4, 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo plane of the Israeli airline El Al, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer (colloquially Bijlmer) neighbourhood (part of Amsterdam Zuidoost) of Amsterdam, Netherlands. ... Citing the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, an aviation accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person... Air safety is a broad term encompassing the theory, investigation and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through appropriate regulation, as well as through education and training. ...

References

  • ASC-AOR-05-02-001, the official Aviation Safety Council report

External link

  • "Cracks blamed for 2002 China Airlines crash", CBC News, February 25, 2005

Coordinates: 23°59′23″N, 119°40′45″E is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
China Airlines Flight 611 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (940 words)
The flight data recorder from Flight 611 shows that the plane began gaining altitude at a significantly faster rate in the 27 seconds before the plane broke apart, although the extra gain in altitude was well within the plane's design limits.
This accident is deemed similar to the Japan Airlines Flight 123 accident in Tokyo on August 12, 1985, which also involved a Boeing 747-SR aircraft with faulty repair work done after a tail strike many years before the final demise of the aircraft.
The accident flight was the second last planned flight to be operated by the aircraft for China Airlines.
Questions over the crash of China Airlines Flight 611 (1032 words)
On Wednesday, searchers located the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorders or “fl boxes”, as well as a large piece of wreckage believed to be the front end of the plane.
China maintains missile batteries on the coast opposite the Taiwanese-held Penghu islands, in case of war in the Taiwan Strait.
Though admitting a fuel-tank explosion was “one of the possibilities”, he justified the airline’s actions on the grounds it had “put some insulation on the wiring [of the fuel pumps]”.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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