Preliminary Crossair crash report shows no aircraft problems

The preliminary report on the crash of Crossair’s Avro RJ100 HB-IXM (msn E3291) indicates that nothing appeared to be wrong with the aircraft. HB-IXM went down in bad weather in a wooded area about five kilometers from Zürich airport on 24 November 2001, while on approach to the airport’s runway 28. Completion of the investigation into the crash has been delayed, ironically, by unsafe conditions in the offices of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (BEAA), which were found to contain unacceptably high levels of asbestos. Nevertheless, analysis of the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), and other systems has been completed. Although investigations are still underway, tests undertaken to date indicate that engines, APU, and hydraulic, electrical, and electronic systems all appear to have been functioning normally at the time of impact. Further reinforcing this conclusion, the initial recommendations emerging from the investigation all point to other factors as having potentially played a role: they touch on pilot training and crew pairing procedures; on operational procedures related to non-precision approaches; and on the need to ensure that all obstacles are accurately depicted on approach charts. The only recommendation that touches on aircraft system is to accelerate the introduction of Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS). Crossair’s newest RJ100s were delivered with EGPWS, but models delivered earlier (including, unfortunately, HB-IXM) had the less sophisticated GPWS.

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