Crossair Flight 3597's Crash at Zurich Airport

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1. Introduction:

This assignment involves researching and studying about the facts of Crossair flight 3597’s crash at Zurich Airport on 24 November 2001, capturing the valuable lessons learned and expressing my views on the operational, both safety and cost perspective, during the approach phrase. The objective of this report is to find out and learn more about the facts and contributing factors behind the Crossair flight 3597’s crash. As well as to get a hold of how aircraft accidents can occur and know the importance of safety management and other factors, and what I can do to prevent such accidents from happening again. To start off this assignment, I will be talking about the facts of Crossair flight 3597 Crash, followed by three contributing factors involved within a flight operations context, and lastly the conclusion and references.

2. Facts of Crossair flight 3597 Crash:

Crossair flight 3597 is scheduled to leave Berlin Tegel Airport at 21:01 CET, to Zurich airport. It carries 28 passengers and 5 crew members, which include Hans Ulrich Lutz, a 57 year old Captain, and Stefan Loehrer, a 25 year old First Officer. Upon approaching Zurich at 20:58:50 UTC, Crossair Flight 3597 received clearance from air traffic controller to land on runway 28 in poor visibility conditions due to low clouds instead of runway 14. As runway 28 is not equipped with ILS, the pilots have to make a VOR/DME approach where there is a lack of glideslope/localiser information. The Commander’s originally planned approach on runway 14 was cast aside due to the sudden change of approach runway. Thus, the Commander required the First officer to seek for another approach for runway 28 by referring to the Jeppesen charts. A new set of parameters was foun...

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...acency of the commander, his decision to violate the MDA, the lack of situational awareness in him and the lack of prevention action by the first officer. It was facilitated by Crossair’s oversight of the captain’s flying ability and navigation skills. If all these mistakes/errors have not been omitted, the chances of flight 3597’s crash would have been reduced to the minimum. However, through all the research and findings that I have done, some factors that might lead to aircraft accidents are unpredictable, all we can do is to maintain the high standards of safety and flying to try our best to prevent such accidents from happening again.

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