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McDonnell Douglas MD-83 Plane crash, [Atlasjet Flight 4203]

30 November 2007

On November 30, 2007 a scheduled flight from Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport to Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport in Isparta, Turkey crashed outside the town of Keçiborlu, 18 km (11 mi) from Isparta at around 01:36 EET (23:36 UTC on November 29). Atlasjet Flight 4203 took off from Istanbul at 00:50 EET with 57 people on board, it was reported that a six-week old baby (which had not been counted on departure) was also on board the aircraft. Atlasjet Airline's CEO Tuncay Doganer reported that no one had survived the crash.The plane was a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 which Atlasjet leased from World Focus Airlines, whose pilots were flying it when it crashed. Engin Arik, a nuclear physicist, died on the plane, along with five other academics on their way to a physics conference in Isparta.

This was later reported as an important amount of controversy raised about the death of 6 important nuclear physicists who were working on a project of CERN.

Local officials said the plane had broken into two pieces, with its fuselage and rear landing in different places. It is reported that the plane's wings and engine were at the top of a hill while the fuselage was 150 m (500 ft) lower. A local reporter at the scene described luggage and debris strewn across a large area, which police have cordoned off. It was reported that the plane crashed away from the typical flight path. Officials have yet to confirm how the plane ended up there.

Investigators found the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder on the day of the crash. Weather conditions were good at the time of the flight, with a visibility of 12 kilometres (7.5 mi), and the aircraft was not known to have any technical issues. There was also some speculation on the quality of technical attention the aircraft received. Upon investigation of the black box of the aircraft , the cockpit voice recorder device was found to have not been working for the 9 days leading up to the accident, regulations specify that it must be made operable within 72 hours of any fault being discovered. In addition, the flight data recorder was not working properly and only contained 15 minutes of flight data.Analysing the available data from the flight data recorder, the authorities declared that the accident was caused by pilot error as a result of the condition known as spatial disorientation. The pilot is believed to have lost the sight of line for the horizon and instead of trusting the flight instruments, diverted the aircraft to the route where the crash occurred. However shortly after the crash, the debate touched upon points such as the probability of sabotage because the preparation for building a new nuclear reactor in Turkey had just begun.

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