Crossair Avro RJ100 crashes near Zürich

An Avro RJ100 operated by Crossair crashed on approach to Zürich around 22:00 on Saturday, 24 November. HB-IXM (msn E3291) had left Berlin at 21:00 operating Crossair flight 3597, with 28 passengers and a crew of five. The aircraft went down in bad weather in a wooded area about five kilometers from Zürich airport. Seven passengers and two crew members survived. Ten bodies were recovered at once. At first, it was hoped that at least some of the fourteen missing passengers might have survived and be lost in the woods, but hopes of finding them alive soon faded. Both pilots are among the dead. The aircraft was on a non-precision approach to Zürich’s runway 28, the shortest of the airport’s runways. A recent treaty with Germany bans most night landings at Zürich’s two runways, both of which offer precision approaches, for noise abatement reasons. A Crossair ERJ-145 crew that landed ahead of the RJ100 reported picking up substantial amounts of ice during the approach, raising the possibility that icing might have played a role. Except for tentatively ruling out foul play, however, authorities have not yet reached any conclusions about the causes of the crash. Both flight recorders have been recovered. This is the first fatal crash involving an Avro RJ. HB-IXM had accumulated 13,193 flight hours as of 24 November.

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