Turkish 737 had 'low forward speed' before Amsterdam crash

By David Kaminski-Morrow

Dutch investigators have started analysing the two flight recorders retrieved from the crashed Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Amsterdam Schiphol, but have confirmed that none of the three cockpit personnel survived the accident.

Both pilots and an apprentice in the cockpit were among nine killed when flight TK1951, arriving from Istanbul, came down short of Schiphol's 'Polderbaan' runway 18R.

Partial air traffic control communications with the aircraft as it made its approach have not revealed any evidence of problems.

The archived communications show that, around 10:15, Dutch controllers instructed the 737 to proceed to the SPY navaid, around 12nm (22km) northeast of the runway and descend to 4,000ft ahead of an instrument landing system approach.

Some seven minutes later - and about three minutes before the accident - controllers told the crew to make a left turn, heading 210°, and cleared the flight for the approach to 18R, before instructing the pilots to contact the Schiphol tower frequency.

A spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board says that the flight recorders have been retrieved and analysis of the data has started.

He states that the investigators have noted the apparent "very low forward speed" of the aircraft, and the fact that there are "hardly any tracks" in the field where the jet came to rest. The aircraft appears to have "hit with the tail" and left a "very short trail" of debris.

There was little or no outbreak of fire after the accident, which occurred near the main A9 highway located just to the north of runway 18R. Amsterdam Schiphol's operator says 86 occupants of the flight were injured and six are in critical condition.

Flight 1951 had been carrying 127 passengers and a crew of seven, including four flight attendants.

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