AT43, vicinity Pristina Kosovo, 1999
From SKYbrary Wiki
On 12 November 1999, a French-registered ATR 42-300 being operated by Italian airline Sci-Fly on a passenger charter flight from Rome to Pristina was positioning for approach at destination in day Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) when it hit terrain and was destroyed, killing all 24 occupants. A post crash fire broke out near the fuel tanks after the impact.
Since the place of occurrence was not a State but under direct UN jurisdiction, it was agreed that the Investigation under Annex 13 would be carried out by the French BEA acting for the State of Registration.
It was noted that Pristina Airport, elevation 1788 feet, had been re-opened after the cessation of military conflict only four months earlier. It was found that the accident aircraft had been chartered for public transport purposes by a UN World Food Program contractor who had sub contracted the provision of the service to the accident aircraft operator. Military ATC service was being provided to the accident aircraft at the time of the accident in accordance with established procedures in Kosovo at the time but the full detail of these procedures was not known to civil operators.
It was established that the aircraft, with the First Officer as PF, had struck a mountain with a summit of 4650 feet whilst in level flight at an altitude of 4600 ft."ft." is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property. QNH. It was found that at the time, it had been in receipt of radar vectors in an area to the north of the airport where the applicable SSA was 6900 feet and the minimum radar vectoring altitude was 7000 feet in preparation for an ILS approach to Runway 17. Although all airspace in and around Kosovo was defined as ‘tactical military airspace’, a Class ‘D’ airspace CTR was defined up to 5000 feet aal and radar control service was being provided. It was also established that although a GPWS/TAWS had been fitted, it had had an improperly documented history of faults and that during the accident flight, the aircraft had been flying with either an inoperative or an intentionally disconnected GPWS which the investigation considered that “the crew must have been aware of”. It was also noted that the emergency locator transmitter installed on board did not work after the accident.