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Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 plane crash
Taipei, Taiwan

Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 plane crash - Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, TaiwanOn October 31, 2000, Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight SQ006, a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, bearing Singapore registration No. 9V-SPK, crashed on a partially closed runway during takeoff. Heavy rain and strong winds from typhoon “Xangsane” prevailed at the time of the accident. SQ006 was on a scheduled passenger flight from Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport (CKS Airport), Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC) to Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USA. The flight departed with 3 pilots, 17 cabin crewmembers, and 159 passengers aboard.

The aircraft was destroyed by its collision with construction equipment and runway construction pits on Runway 05R, and by post impact fire. There were 83 fatalities, including 4 cabin crewmembers and 79 passengers, 39 seriously injured, including 4 cabin crewmembers and 35 passengers, and 32 minor injuries, including 1 flight crewmember, 9 cabin crewmembers and 22 passengers.

In the investigation report stated that the probable causes are:

  • The flight crew did not review the taxiing route, despite having all the relevant charts, and as a result did not know the aircraft had entered the wrong runway (the aircraft entered runway 05R instead of runway 05L).
  • Upon entering the wrong runway, the flight crew had neglected to check the Para Visual Display (PVD) and the Primary Flight Display (PFD) as it would have supposedly told them that the aircraft was lined up on the wrong runway.
  • Due to the Typhoon Xangsane's imminent arrival and the poor ambient conditions, the flight crew lost situational awareness and attempted to take off from the wrong runway.
The following element may or may not have contributed to the accident
  • The first series of taxiway lights leading to 05L were damaged.

CVR transcriptions

The following are selected excerpts from SQ006's CVR prior to the accident. All times are in UTC.

15:14:58 (Pilot-flying (PF)) - Tell them we ready lah

15:15:02 (Radio 2 (RDO2)) - Singapore Six ready

15:15:04 (Tower (TWR)) - Singapore Six roger, runway zero five left, taxi into position and hold

15:15:08 (RDO2) - Taxi into position and hold, Singapore Six

15:15:12 (Pilot-not-flying (PNF)) - I get them seated ah

15:15:12 (PF) - Ok below the line please... yah

15:15:15 (PNF) - Cabin crew to your takeoff station thanks

15:15:22 (TWR) - Singapore Six, runway zero five left, wind zero two zero at two eight, gust to five zero, cleared for take off

15:15:30 (RDO2) - Cleared for takeoff, runway zero five left, Singapore Six

15:16:43 (Observer pilot (OBS))- Ok, thrust ref toga toga

15:16:43 (PNF) - Thrust ref toga toga

15:16:44 (PF) - Ok, thrust ref toga toga

At this moment, the aircraft starts its acceleration in order to take-off.

15:16:54 (OBS) – Hold

15:16:54 (PNF) - Hold

15:16:54 (PF) - Roger

15:16:55 (OBS) - Eighty knots

15:16:55 (PNF) - Eighty knots

15:16:56 (PF) - Ok, my control

15:17:13 (PNF) - Vee One

15:17:13 (OBS) - Vee One

15:17:16 (PF) - Shit, something there

15:17:17 Sound of first impact

15:17:18 ****waaah****

15:17:18 Sounds of series of impacts

15:17:22 End of recording

Video footage shot by a passenger of a nearby plane. It shows the Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 in fire under the heavy rain.
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The Tropical livery

The accident aircraft 9V-SPK was painted in Singapore Airlines special promotion livery - "Tropical" at that time instead of the standard Singapore Airlines livery. After the accident, its sister aircraft, 9V-SPL, which was the only other aircraft with the "Tropical" livery, was immediately repainted back into the standard Singapore Airlines livery. The "Tropical" livery was intended to promote the new First Class and new Business Class of the airline.

Singapore Airlines has also changed the flight route designation to SQ030 after the accident.

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Photos of the crash of Singapore Airlines (31st October, 2000)