There’s very sad news out of Kyrgyzstan this morning. A 747-400 cargo plane crashed on landing this morning while it made a routine fuel stop at Manas Airport, just outside of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The flight was operated by a 14 year old 747-400 with registration TC-MCL, which was originally operated by Singapore Airlines Cargo, though in 2015 it was transferred to MyCargo Airlines. MyCargo Airlines operates cargo flights on behalf of several airlines.
In the past this plane operated flights on behalf of Qatar Airways, though as of the past week, it has been operating on behalf of Turkish Airlines. It was flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul, but made a refueling stop at Manas Airport (not because the 747 doesn’t have the range to fly it nonstop, but because it’s more economical to carry less fuel and more cargo).
The flight had four crew members, though a majority of the deaths from the accident came from the fact that the plane allegedly hit a couple of dozen houses. Dozens of people are dead, and the death toll keeps rising.
The plane crashed while attempting to land, though details are still emerging as to what happened from there. It could be that they touched down way late and overran the runway, it could be that it was a botched go around, etc. We do know that visibility was horrible — only about 150 meters at the time.
Here’s a graphic of where the plane eventually ended up:
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) January 16, 2017
Per BBC, it seems the Deputy PM of Kyrgyzstan is drawing some pretty quick conclusions about what happened:
Deputy PM Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev said on state TV: “According to preliminary information, the plane crashed due to a pilot error.”
See here for more pictures of the crash site.
What a horrible, horrible situation. My thoughts are with those involved — both the families of the crew, and all those on the ground in the area where the plane crashed. This is the second 747 cargo crash in a few years — in 2013 a National Airlines 747-400 crashed after takeoff in Afghanistan.