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Mon 1 Jun 2020 10:40 AM

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Jet turbulence caused fatal light aircraft crash in Dubai last year

Four people were killed in the fatal crash which took place near Dubai International Airport last year

Jet turbulence caused fatal light aircraft crash in Dubai last year

Four people were killed in the fatal crash which took place near Dubai International airport last year. The aircraft was owned and operated by UK firm Flight Calibration Services (FCSL) and was evaluating navigation aids at the airport.


The pilot of a small aircraft that crashed in May 2019 near Dubai International airport lost control as a result of turbulence caused by a commercial jet nearby, a new report has concluded.

Four people were killed in the incident, including former British Royal Air Force pilot David Phillips, 52.

In the report – which was led by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority with UK support – concluded that the crash was a result of turbulence caused by Thai Airways Airbus A350-900 that was approaching a runway at DXB.

“The cause of the accident was a loss of control induced by an encounter with wake vortices generated by the preceding A350,” the report said.

“It was identified that the approaches during this mission were flown with spacings less than the separation minimums provided by air traffic control to flights operating under instrument flight rules,” it added.

The crash occurred at approximately 7.30pm as the aircraft – a Diamond DA62 – was completing a series of flights to calibrate safety lighting on runways. It was on its 10th approach when it crashed, after having taken off from Sharjah International airport.

“It was also identified that the wake turbulence advice provided by air traffic control during the first five approaches did not prompt the flight crew to increase the distance to preceding aircraft on approach to the parallel runway,” the report said.

The investigation has prompted a series of recommendations, including equipping commercially operated light aircraft with cockpit image and audio recording systems to monitor flight, and reviewing pilot training and decision making.

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