At the scene of the crash near Dubai International Airport on May 16, 2019.


What really happened in 2019 plane crash near Dubai airport? UAE aviation authority releases final report


DUBAI – After a one-year investigation, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) released its final report on Sunday (May 31) on the aircraft crash near Dubai International Airport that killed four people on May 16, 2019.

It a statement, the GCAA said the crash was an accident caused by wake turbulence that caused the pilot to lose control of the Diamond DA62 during landing approach.

The GCAA said an Airbus A350-900 aircraft that flew 90 seconds ahead of the smaller Diamond DA62 aircraft generated wake vortices on the approach to the parallel runway, causing the smaller aircraft to lose control.

The authority also said that the pilot’s decision to reduce self-separation from preceding air traffic during approaches to the runway, and wind conditions that caused wake vortices to drift across the approach path to the parallel runway were contributing factors to the accident.

The GCAA blamed the aircraft operator, UK CAA, for failing to “exercise effective oversight” and lacking an “effective safety management system” which it said could have prevented operational hazards during calibration flights. READ FULL REPORT HERE 

As a result of the investigation, authorities have issued a number of safety recommendations, including the installation of cockpit image and audio recording systems in commercially operated light aircraft.

It was also recommended that operators conduct a comprehensive review to improve the safety management system and the effectiveness of its pilot training with particular attention on pilot decision-making.

Recommendations were also issued to GCAA to ensure that UAE air navigation service providers review working processes for air traffic controllers to ensure that the risk of wake turbulence encounters to calibration flights was mitigated.

Here’s all you need to know about Dubai’s biggest aviation disaster to date:

What happened?

A small Diamond DA62 aircraft crashed near the Dubai Airport on May 16, 2019, killing all four people on board. The aircraft had departed from Sharjah International Airport at 3:33pm to operate an aerodrome lighting calibration flight to Dubai International Airport.

What caused the crash?

According to the report, the plane flew too close to a large Thai Airways aircraft that was approaching a parallel runway at the time, resulting in turbulence that caused the small plane to lose control.

What else do we know about the crash?

The DA62 aircraft turned upside down in the air and then smashed into a nature reserve near Mushrif Park, about 6km from the airport runway.

At the site of the crash near Dubai International Airport on May 16, 2019.

Who were the fatalities?

Two pilots, a company flight inspector and an observer onboard the aircraft were killed in the crash. The fatalities were identified as three British men and one South African man. The Britons were Christoper Stone, former RAF wing commander David Phillips and William Blackburn, a first officer at Flight Calibration Services, the Sussex-based owner of the plane. The South African victim was identified as Fritz Venter.

What were they doing in Dubai?

They were flying into Dubai to carry out lighting checks at the airport as part of an upgrade programme.

What did authorities find in the wreckage?

Authorities found the aircraft’s seats 50 to 68 metres away from the main wreckage. The plane was completely destroyed in the crash that sparked a fire.

Was there a flight data recorder on board?

No. The plane did not have a black box, also known as a flight data recorder, because of its small size.

What do authorities have to say about the incident?

Investigators of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority have called for new warnings to be issued to air traffic controllers and light aircraft pilots about the dangers of “wake turbulence” and the importance of maintaining safe distances.

Were there other aircraft incidents in Dubai?

The last major aircraft incident in the emirate happened on August 3, 2016 when an Emirates plane from India made an emergency landing at the airport. The 300 passengers and crew were all saved, but a firefighter was killed in an explosion sparked by a fire on the aircraft. ICA/Expat Media

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