17 Years ago today: On 6 March 2003 an Air Algérie Boeing 737-200 lost control and crashed on takeoff from Tamanrasset, Algeria, killing 102 occupants.

Date: Thursday 6 March 2003
Time: 15:15
Type:
Boeing 737-2T4
Operator: Air Algérie
Registration: 7T-VEZ
C/n / msn: 22700/885
First flight: 1982-06-09 (20 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs: 41472
Cycles: 27184
Engines: Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17A (HK3)
Crew: Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers: Fatalities: 96 / Occupants: 97
Total: Fatalities: 102 / Occupants: 103
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Tamanrasset Airport (TMR) (   Algeria)
Crash site elevation: 1377 m (4518 feet) amsl
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Tamanrasset-Aguemar Airport (TMR/DAAT), Algeria
Destination airport: Ghardaïa-Noumérat Airport (GHA/DAUG), Algeria
Flightnumber: 6289

Narrative:
Air Algérie flight 6289 originated in Tamanrasset and was bound for Algiers, with an intermediate stop at Ghardaia. Takeoff was commenced from runway 02 with the co-pilot acting as pilot-in-command. The aircraft rotated and at 15:14:52 the co-pilot ordered the gear to be raised. At that moment, at a height of 78 feet and a speed of 158 kts, the no. 1 engine suffered a turbine failure. The captain took over control of the airplane. Three seconds later the co-pilot asked if she should raise the gear, but the captain did not respond. The 737 lost speed and at 15:15:06 the speed had dropped to 134 kts. Height at that moment was 398 ft. The aircraft, named “Monts du Daia”, stalled and crashed and broke up on rocky terrain about 1645 metres past the runway.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSES: The accident was caused by the loss of an engine during a critical phase of flight, the non-retraction of the landing gear after the engine failure, and the Captain, the PNF, taking over control of the airplane before having clearly identified the problem.
The following factors probably contributed to the accident:
– the perfunctory flight preparation, which meant that the crew were not equipped to face the situation that occurred at a critical moment of the flight;
– the coincidence between the moment the failure occurred and the request to retract the landing gear;
– the speed of the event that left the crew little time to recover the situation;
– maintaining an inappropriate rate of climb, taking into account the failure of one engine;
– the absence of any teamwork after the engine failure, which led to a failure to detect and correct parameters related to the conduct of the flight (speed, rate of climb, configuration, etc.);
– the takeoff weight being close to the maximum with a high aerodrome altitude and high temperature;
– the rocky environment around the aerodrome, unsuitable for an emergency landing.