Luxair Flight 9642 Accident

Date: November 6, 2002

Time: 10:06

Location: Niederanven, Luxembourg

Registration: LX-LGB

Flight Number: 9642

Aircraft Type: Fokker F50

POB: 22

Fatalities: 20

Airplane damage: Written off

Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)


This was a passenger flight that was scheduled from Tempelhof International Airport for Luxembourg-Findel International Airport on the 6th of November 2002. The bad weather at Luxembourg had reduced visibility. The captain aborted his go-around to try and make a speedy landing but the aircraft ended up bouncing over the highway when it missed the runway by 3.5 km, breaking up, and bursting out in flames1.

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Luxair Flight 9642, Embedded from[] on 21 September 2010 Luxair Flight 9642, Embedded from[ on 21 September 2010

Flight History

This was an international scheduled passenger aircraft that was code shared by Lufthansa. The aircraft departed Berlin-Tempelhof at 08:40 heading for Luxembourg. On approach into Luxembourg the pilots noted that visibility was poor and initiated a go-around as they waited for instructions from the tower as visibility at the time was below the required minimum. The Air Traffic Control (ATC) informed the crew that visibility had improved above the required minimum and that they were clear to land. The crew had not finished their go-around when they received the ATC clearance to land and the captain decided to abort the go-around altogether and prepare to land by capturing a glide slope from above. In attempting to capture the glide slope, the captain moved the power levers below the flight idle detent. This was a move that was prohibited in the aircraft’s flight manual1.
Upon landing gear extension, a design defect momentarily released the secondary mechanical low pitch stops and allowed the propellers on both engines to transit into the reverse pitch(beta) range. The pilot quickly realised his error and moved the power levers back into forward thrust. Unfortunately the captain’s error had take effect as the right propeller continued to reduce and eventually went fully into reverse. In response to the effects of increased drag, loss of lift, and thrust asymmetry, the captain chose to shut down both engines and try to take control of the aircraft. Once the aircraft was fully shut down however the left propeller feathered, but the right propeller remained in full reverse. The aircraft touched down 3.5km short of the runway, broke up and burst into flames1.


There was inadequate landing visibility at the destination airport and this visibility remained poor throughout the approach.

Finding by FAA

• The crew were given landing clearance but were not prepared for landing.
• Poor application of SOPs by the crew, the organisational structure of the operator and Latent shortcomings in Authority1.
• Routine and the will to arrive at the destination may have put the crew in a psychological state of mind, which could have been the origin of the deviations from standard procedures as noticed1.
• RVR was below approved company minima during the initial and the intermediate approach.

Luxembourg Investigation Commission: Recommendations2

• CRM Training should be strengthened to facilitate proper harmonisation of all crew in flight operation. Reviews should be carried out periodically on training to detect areas of deviation in
training so as to offer improvement.

• Proper SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) should be followed in flight.

• Crew should share tasks in- flight.

Human Factors Analysis & Classification

Pre-conditions for Unsafe Acts: Environmental Factors

The uncontrollable physical environment facilitated reduced visibility conditions for the pilots.

Unsafe Acts: Violation; Routine Violation
The captain did not follow the proper SPOs and moved the power levers below the operational requirements allowed in the aircraft’s flight manual.

Unsafe Acts: Decision Errors
The pilot aborted his decision to go-around and tried to make a hasty landing without proper preparation.

Perceptual Errors
The pilot believed the best landing would be by capturing the glide slope he had chosen as it looked like it would produce a standard quick landing.


1.FAA. (2010). Accident Common Themes, Luxair Flight 9642 at Luxembourg: Luxair Flight LG9642. Retrieved 20 September, 2010, from

2. Federal Aviation Administration.(2010).Accident Board Recommendations : Additional Recommendations. Retrieved 20 September, 2010, from

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Melanie AttanMelanie Attan

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