History of the flight - TC-JAV

The official report in English on the crash - pdf 5mb
1 History of the flight

On Sunday 3 March 1974, DC-10 – 10, registration TC-JAV, landed at Orly at l002 hrs, as scheduled for flight TK 981 Istanbul-Paris-London on which it was engaged. On landing there were 167 passengers on board, of whom 50 disembarked at Paris. The aircraft was parked on stand A2 of the west satellite of Orly-Sud air terminal, where it was taken over by THY station staff and personnel of the airport services.

As regards the security of the TC-JAY parking stand, theie was a gendarme stationed at a fixed point and surveillance by a mobile patrol of three men.

The refuelling operations entailed the suppiy of 10,350 litres of Jet Al fuel In addition to the airline personnel, Paris Airport staff concerned with flight preparation and traffic operations, baggage and cargo handling, technical operations (apron starter unit, aircraft towing) and aircraft cabin cleaning were involved with the aircraft.

The normal stop is for 1 hour but was increased to 1 hour and 30 minutes because of the last minute embarkation of number of passengers from British Airways and Air France. These fresh passengers numbered 216 and embarked after passing through the routine police checks.

During the stop electrical power was provided by the auxiliary power unit from 1000 hrs until the engines were started (the apron starter unit initially arranged for was not used). The door of the aft cargo compartment on the left-hand side was closed at about 1035 hrs. A radio car of the Air Transport Gendarmerie escorted the aircraft from the stand to the take-off runway threshold.

The sequence of events entailed by the departure procedure included the following, according to the times of the air/ground communications:

1 1 1130 les: t“mt contact with Orly-Prdvol for departure operations.
112400 hrs: clearance by Orly-Sol to taxi to runway 08.
112840 hrs; clearance by Or1y-Airport to line up on the take-off runway – departure route 18' – initial climb to flight level 40.

1 Departure route 18 assigned to the aircraft included the following points: Tournan intersection, Coutommiers and Montdidierand Montdidier

The meteorological conditions were goad:
Wind: 060º/10 kt
Cloud: 2/8 Cumulus at 900 m

Qnh: 1016.2 mb

Qfe: 1004.4 mb
Temperature: 6.2ºC
The aircraft took off at approximately 113030 hrs. The flight then proceeded as follows;
113300 hrs: Orly-Depart cleared the aircraft for flight level 60.

113400 hrs: TC-JAY reported at flight level 60 at which it was subsequently transferred to the North Area Control Centre.

113610 hrs: After contact was made with the Area Control, TC-JAY was cleared to climb to flight level 230.

113635 hrs: The Control asked the aircraft to turn to the left to Montdidier.

113700 hrs: Flight level 70 was reached.

The readout of the flight data recorder shows that, in accordance with the THY operating rules, the climb was probably carried out in the automatic mode of the flight contml system. The end of the twn to Montdidier and stabilization an a heading of 345º occurred at about 1138 hrs, flight level 90 was reached and the CAS was of the order of 30G knots.

Three or four seconds before 114000 hrs, the noise of decompression can be heard on the cockpit voice recording, the co-pilot said: ‘the fuselage has burst’ and the pressurization aural warning sounded.

114013 hrs:
The controller who was following the progress of flight TK 981 heard a confused transmission, a heavy background noise mingled with words in the Turkish language and the pressurization warning and then the overspeed warning. At the same time as the overspeed warning signal was heard, the label with the flight number ‘981’ disappeared from the secondary radar scope. Flight level 130’ remained an the scape for a few moments.

On the primary radar the aircraft echo split in two: one part (which may correspond to the parts ejected from the aircraft) remained stationary at about 24 NM on a bearing of 045º fmm Orly and persisted for two or three minutes; the second part, the echo of the DC-10 itself, continued on a path which curved to the left from heading 350º to. heading 280º.

114041 hrs: The confused transmission ceased to be received by the Control.

114104 bra: A fresh very short transmission was recorded on the ground.
114106/07 hrs: A final transmission was heatd and continued until 114113 hrs. From l 14150 hrs, the contmller made repeated caBs to TK 981 but reoeived no reply.

The various recordings (air/ground communications, cockpit voice recoxder, flight data recorder) show that about 77 seconds. elapsed between the time of decompression and the impact with the ground.

The flight data recorder shows that, in the seconds immediately after depressurization, the speed of No 2 engine dropped sharply and the aircraft tumed to the left (9º) and went into a nosMown attitude. This nose-down attitude increased rapidly (down to -20') and the speed increased (360 knots) although Nos 1 and B engines' had been throttled back. The pitch attitude then decreased progressively to -4º and the speed became steady around 430 knots (800 km/hr>.

TC-JAV crashed in the forest of Ermenonville at the place known as ‘Bosquet de Dammartin’, in the commune of Fontaine-ChaaBs (Oise), about 15 km from the village of Saint-Pathus over which initial decompression and the initial loss of parts of the aircraft occurred. There was nn fire.

At the accident site, 37 km NB of Paris, the airaaft was tlving at high speed, 430 knots (about 500 km/hr). it was banked to the left by about 17º and the angle of descent was of the order of 4º.

The aircraft cut through the forest from east to west and caused damage over a rectangular area of 700 m by 100 m. There were no survivors from among the aircraft occupants.

No call was heard on the distress frequency (121.5 MHz).

3.2 Injuries to persons

Crew 12
Passengers 334
Fatal 346

' Including 6 passengers ejected from the aircraft over Saint-Pathus about 15 km from the main point of impact

3.3 Damage to aircraft

After the ejection of the aft cargo door on the left-land side and of various parts of the aircraft structure (floor, seats), the aircraft literally disintegrated on the subsequent impact at very high speed in the forest.

3.4 Other damage

The Senlis Waterways and Forestry Service has made the following assessment of the damage on the ground:

The damaged area covered 6.55 hectares made up as follows:

0.70 hectare; Scotch pines, 20 to 30 years old;

5.85 hectares: Scotch and maritime pines,,50 to 70 years aid.

The damage is estimated at more than 220,000 Francs.

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