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6 November 2002 - Luxair 9642

On 6 November 2002, LX-LGB, a Fokker F50 aircraft, crashed while on final approach to the airport about 6 nautical miles (11 km) short of the runway while trying to land in the fog. 20 out of 22 passengers and crew perished.

Luxair flight 9642 departed Berlin-Tempelhof at 07:40 for a flight back to Luxembourg and climbed to a cruising altitude of FL180. At 08:50 Frankfurt control cleared the crew to descend to FL090 and told them to contact Luxembourg Approach control. Contact was established at 08:52 and Luxembourg Approach replied: "Luxair niner six four two enter Diekirch holding at flight level niner zero it will be vectors later on for an ILS approach category two on two four. QNH is one zero two tree current RVR beginning two five zero on mid section two seven five, stop end two two five.". Six minutes later the controller cleared LG9642 to descend further down to 3000 feet.

At 09:01 the flight was cleared for the approach: "Luxair niner six four two turn right heading two two zero to intercept. Cleared for approach, report established on the localizer." After passing the localizer the crew contacted Luxembourg Tower and reported being established on a runway 24 ILS approach. The tower controller then passed on the runway visual range (RVR) information, which had not changed. The crew reported that they needed 300 metres for the approach, to which the controller replied : "Nine six four two copied, uh, so continue approach I keep you advised. We didn't have three hundred, uh, during the last, uh, time.". The approach was continued, but at 09:04:46 the captain decided to discountine the approach: "Yo, bon mir machen en goaround, missed approach". The co-pilot then said: "Ground idle stop off". Four seconds after this statement the Tower controller reported the RVR to be 300 metres. Immediately engine power was reduced to idle and the co-pilot radioed: "Nine six four two roger so we continue". The tower then cleared the flight to land. The gear and flaps were lowered and at 09:05:17 the left prop blade angle changed from 'normal' to 'low pitch', causing the pilot to say:"Wat ass dat" (What's that??). Almost immediately the right prop blade angle also went into low pitch. The flaps were raised and several sounds and exclamations were recorded by the CVR including the decrease in propeller revolutions and GPWS warnings. Both engines then failed as the Fokker descended. The airplane collided with terrain and caught fire.

The cause of the crash was determined to be crew error caused by aborting a "go-around" after being informed by tower of an increase in visibility. A series of non-standard actions resulted in severe loss of airspeed, due to the propeller blades being accidentally switched into reverse position, and subsequent impact short of the runway. Contributing to the accident were errors concerning the implementation of a security recommendation which had been made by the manufacturer to Fokker 50 operators. Also this warning was not adequately communicated to the flight crews of Luxair.


Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

08 h 33 min 49   Start of recording
09 h 01 min 25 ATC

Niner six four two turn right heading two two zero to intercept cleared for approach report established on the localizer

09 h 01 min 31 F/O Right heading two two zero. And euh cleared approach and we call you established on the localizer nine six four two
09 h 01 min 42 F/O Oh gosh, they bring us in before all the others
09 h 01 min 44 F/O They bring us in before everybody
09 h 01 min 58 F/O Should we switch on the seat belt?
09 h 02 min 00 CPT Yes Yes this wouldn't be a bad idea
09 h 02 min 02 CPT We must here for the approach
.....ehhhh
09 h 02 min 04 CPT 100 feet
09 h 02 min 07 F/O Yes, I already dialled that in
09 h 02 min 09 CPT Localizer alive and captured
  F/O Checked
  F/O Missed approach heading
09 h 02 min 12 CPT Tell him, I would rather say as a matter of fairness, that if at Echo we don't have 300 meters, that we then do a go-around and fly to Diekirch
09 h 02 min 32 F/O The Lux euh nine six four two is now established on the localizer
09 h 02 min 37 ATC Luxair niner six four two contact tower on one one eight decimal one, addi
Addi = good-bye
09 h 02 min 41 F/O Eighteen one nine six four two , addi
09 h 02 min 51 F/O Tower, good morning, nine six four two is established ILS two four
09 h 02 min 52 CVR Noise resembling a seat movement
09 h 02 min 57 ATC Luxair nine six four two good morning continue approach. The
wind is calm RVR beginning two five zero meters, mid section two five zero meters, stop end two two five meters
  CPT Oh, this doesnt bring a thing
09 h 03 min 07 CPT Oh, this doesnt bring a thing
09 h 03 min 08 F/O Euh’ that's copied Luxair nine six four two’ but euh we need three hundred meters for the approach
09 h 03 min 16 CPT Say, we continue up to ELU, if then we have nothing, then ehhhhh
09 h 03 min 18 F/O Yes
  ATC Nine six four two copied’ euh so continue approach and I'll keep you advised we didn't have three hundred euh’ euh during the last time
09 h 03 min 26 CPT Oh
09 h 03 min 28 F/O Euh Roger nine six four two we keep you advised we're
proceeding to ELU now and ’ euh standing by nine six four two
  CVR C chord
09 h 03 min 38 ATC Roger’ and euh we have ehhh zero degrees wind
09 h 03 min 42 F/O Roger
09 h 03 min 43 ATC .......schen , zero knots
09 h 03 min 44 F/O Roger
09 h 04 min 09 CPT Now, are we beacon, hey not yet, it is 5,5 DME
09 h 04 min 16 F/O Then one must select a beacon first, lad
09 h 04 min 18 CPT Yes. but I do have a DME
09 h 04 min 19 CVR Laugh
09 h 04 min 23 CVR Laugh
09 h 04 min 33 F/O Three thousand sixty top
09 h 04 min 35 CPT Checked
09 h 04 min 36 F/O Landing altitude and briefing completed, altimeters euh set
09 h 04 min 40 F/O Speed ninety five one oh five one oh nine. Landing altitude
09 h 04 min 43 CPT Two seven five meters
09 h 04 min 44 F/O Set
09 h 04 min 46 CPT Yes, well we do a go-around, missed approach
09 h 04 min 53 F/O Ground idle stop off
09 h 04 min 57 ATC Luxair nine six four two, RVR three hundred meters two seven five meters stop end two meters stop end two seven five meters
09 h 04 min 58 CVR Noises similar to the displacement of the Ground Idle Stop
09 h 05 min 00 CVR Variation of the turbine rotational speed
09 h 05 min 00 CVR Noise similar to moving the power levers to Flight Idle
09 h 05 min 02 F/O ......won't work
09 h 05 min 05 F/O Nine six four two roger so we continue
09 h 05 min 07 F/O Flaps?
09 h 05 min 08 CPT Oh we are flaps ten
  ATC Nine six four two you're cleared to land wind one eight zero degrees ....knots
09 h 05 min 09 CVR Noise similar to moving the flap selector
09 h 05 min 11 CVR Noise similar to selecting Taxi Light
09 h 05 min 11 F/O Gear down?
09 h 05 min 12 CPT Yes
09 h 05 min 13 F/O Clear to land nine six four two
09 h 05 min 16 CVR Noise similar to selecting gear down followed by the gear extension noises
09 h 05 min 16 F/O This will rather be......
09 h 05 min 17 CVR Increase of propeller speed
09 h 05 min 19 CVR (Noise)
  CPT What's that
09 h 05 min 21 CVR Noise similar to flaps selection
09 h 05 min 21 CVR Noise similar to a propeller speed variation
09 h 05 min 22 CPT (Exclamation - questioning)
09 h 05 min 22 CPT Oh shit
09 h 05 min 23 CVR Noise similar to electric transfer
09 h 05 min 23 CVR Single Chime
09 h 05 min 26 CVR Noise similar to a propeller speed reduction
09 h 05 min 27 CVR (Noise)
09 h 05 min 27 CVR Start of GPWS alarm » Terrain
09 h 05 min 28 CVR Recording stops (1/3 s)
09 h 05 min 28 F/O This has been a shrewed stuff
--   The recorded portion from 05 min 28 s 00 until the noise of electric transfer at 05 min 28 s 90 is a recorded portion from the beginning of the CVR and not newly overwritten
09 h 05 min 28 CVR Noise similar to electric transfer
09 h 05 min 29 F/O (Heavy breathing) Oh shit
09 h 05 min 40   Restart of recording
--   The recorded portion from 05 min 40 s 10 until the noise of electric transfer at 05 min 40 s 80 is a recorded portion from the beginning of the CVR and not newly overwritten.
09 h 05 min 40 CVR Noise similar to electric transfer
09 h 05 min 41 ATC Ready for push back next, Mike Kilo Alpha one two three
09 h 05 min 41 CVR Double Chime (two Single Chimes separated by 0.7 second)
09 h 05 min 44   End of recording