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Harrowing footage captures the moment plane flipped over and crashed during landing

Harrowing footage captures the moment plane flipped over and crashed during landing

China Airlines Flight 642 never made it to its intended destination.

Almost 25 years ago, China Airlines Flight 642 jetted off from Bangkok and was due to fly to Taipei with a stopover in Hong Kong - but a tropical storm caused a disaster to unfold.

On August 22 1999, 300 passengers and 15 crew members boarded a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 at Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport.

The onboard holidaymakers were due to travel on the trijet to Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport after a scheduled layover at Hong Kong International Airport.

According to the aircraft accident report, the pilot had 17,900 flight hours under his belt, including 3,260 hours on the MD-11.

Meanwhile, the first officer for China Airlines Flight 642 had logged an impressive 4,630 flight hours.

Despite their experience, they were face with challenging weather conditions.

Severe Tropical Storm Sam - which formed five days earlier - was still raging and caused various flight diversions and forced pilots to complete go-arounds.

Despite environmental difficulties, Flight 642 continued towards its planned stopover.

However, due to the tropical storm, the aircraft’s right wing was slightly down at the time that the landing flare was attempted.

A report claimed the plane crash was mainly due to pilot error. (X/@planesanity)
A report claimed the plane crash was mainly due to pilot error. (X/@planesanity)

Moreover, the flight was close to its maximum permitted landing weight due to carrying enough fuel to divert directly to Taipei in the event of being unable to touch down in Hong Kong.

With the wing being down and the heavy hull, the trijet came down hard on its starboard landing gear, as per Simpleflying.

The China Airlines flight made contact with the ground, causing the wing to separate and the jet to roll over.

The abundance of fuel onboard caused the inverted plane to go up in flames as it skidded 1,100 meters from the threshold of one of the airport’s runways.

Following the jet roll, emergency services arrived on the scene and suppressed the fire.

In a video taken at the scene of the incident, witnesses can be seen remarking the plane was 'a bit shaky' as it came down before remarking in horror as it went up in flames.

Horrified onlookers caught the aircraft crash on camera. (X/@planesanity)
Horrified onlookers caught the aircraft crash on camera. (X/@planesanity)

According to a Civil Aviation Department Hong Kong Accident Investigation Division report, two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene while another died five days later in hospital.

“A total of 219 persons, including crewmembers, were admitted to hospital, of whom 50 were seriously injured and 153 sustained minor injuries,” they wrote.

An investigation into the wreck was later conducted, with officials declaring pilot error to have been the key factor in the horrific crash.

The error specified was the aircrew’s inability to arrest the high rate of descent existing at 50 feet on the radar altimeter.

Later, China Airlines disputed the report’s findings on the pilot and co-pilot and claimed the aircraft flew into a microburst before landing, causing it to crash.

Featured Image Credit: X/@planesanity

Topics: China, History, Travel, World News