No Dutch criminal charge in Turkish Airlines crash

Apr 25, 2012, 10:54 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch prosecutors will not file criminal charges in the 2009 crash of a Turkish Airlines jet near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport that killed nine people and injured dozens.

After a three-year investigation, prosecutors said Wednesday that no one committed any crime when the Boeing 737 carrying 135 people slammed into a muddy field short of one of the airport’s runways.

Dutch investigators say Flight TK1951 crashed because a false reading from a faulty altimeter caused an autopilot to sharply slow the Boeing 737-800 short of the runway.

Prosecutors said inaccurate altimeter readings were a known problem and the pilots _ who died in the crash _ knew about it and should have been able to compensate for it.

According to the prosecution report, the pilots did not follow a protocol for dealing with aircraft instability shortly before landing. The protocol mandates that pilots abort the landing in such situations.

However, prosecutors said they could form no “criminal opinion about their actions” because their deaths in the crash meant the pilots could not be questioned in the investigation.

The final report said Boeing 737s have a reputation as “extremely safe” planes and occasional problems with their altimeters “are seen in the (aviation) sector not as a safety issue but a technical problem.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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No Dutch criminal charge in Turkish Airlines crash