2013 Airline safety and security review

This review includes important safety or security related occurrences from 2013. There are two types of events in this review, numbered events and significant events. Numbered events must meet the following criteria:

  • There is at least one passenger fatality,
  • The flight was open to the general public, and
  • The aircraft was a large jet or turboprop driven model that is typically used in airline service.

Significant events are those that don't meet the criteria for a numbered event, but would likely be of interest to airline passengers and the aviation safety and security community. These events may include non-fatal airline accidents, events unrelated to an airline flight, hijackings, military actions, criminal activities, or acts of sabotage.

Definitions used by AirSafe.com

The six fatal airline crashes from 2013 equaled the fewest plane crashes since AirSafe.com was launched in 1996. Two of significant events involved fatalities. Both involved cargo jet crashes that killed all of the crew members.

    7 January 2013; JAL 787-8; Boston, MA: Prior to a scheduled flight from Boston to Tokyo, a maintenance and cleaning personnel noted that the auxiliary power unit (APU) disconnected and smoke began to enter the cabin and cockpit. Shortly afterward, smoke was coming from the aft electronics bay. Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) responded and confirmed the smoke was coming from the APU battery. One firefighter sustained minor injuries.
    NTSB battery fire incident report
    JAL plane crashes

    16 January 2013; ANA 787-8; flight 692; en route from Ube to Tokyo, Japan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Ube to Tokyo's Haneda airport when smoke was detected in the aircraft. The crew diverted to Takamatsu, where after landing the crew initiated an emergency evacuation. One passenger was taken to the hospital and later released. None of the seven crew members or the other 129 passengers were seriously injured. The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB), in conjunction with the NTSB, is conducting an investigation into the cause of the battery fire.
    NTSB battery fire incident report
    ANA plane crashes

    Webinar on 787 battery fire investigation

    Dr. Todd Curtis of AirSafe.com hosted a 14 February 2013 webinar discussed the January 2013 grounding of the entire 787 fleet after two serious fires on a JAL and ANA 787 involving lithium ion batteries. Dr. Curtis summarized the status of the investigations by the NTSB and JTSB, and explains the process that Boeing and the airlines will go through in order to return the aircraft to service. Watch the 14 February 2013 webinar below, or on YouTube

  1. 29 January 2013; SCAT Airlines Canadair CRJ-200ER; UP-CJ006; flight 760; Almaty, Kazakhstan: The aircraft was on a domestic scheduled flight from Kokshetau to Almaty, Kazakhstan, crashed during approach about five kilometres (3.1 mi) from the destination airport, near the village of Kyzyltu. All five crew members and 16 passengers were killed.
    Flight 760 Wikipedia entry.

    29 April 2013; National Airlines 747-400; N949CA; Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan: The aircraft had just departed on a cargo flight to Dubai, UAE when the aircraft entered a stall and crashed near the end of the runway. At one point, the aircraft had rolled to the right in excess of 45 degrees. Although the crew was able to put the wings more or less level, the aircraft impacted the ground at a high vertical speed, causing an explosion and fire. All seven crew members were killed.

    747 plane crashes

  2. 6 July 2013; Asiana Airlines; 777-200ER; HL7742; flight 214; San Francisco, CA: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco, and the rear of the aircraft struck a seawall just short of the runway while landing. The tail section broke apart, and both horizontal stabilizers and the vertical fin separated from the aircraft. Both engines and the main landing gear also separated from the aircraft. The aircraft caught fire after it came to rest, but not before all of the crew and most of the passengers were able to escape. All 16 crew members survived, but thee of the 291 passengers, all teenage girls from China, were killed.

    Visit the Asiana flight 214 page for additional information, including findings from the crash investigation.
    Other Asiana plane crashes

  3. 7 July 2013; Rediske AirDHC-3 Otter; N93PC; Soldatna, AK: The aircraft was on a nonscheduled domestic flight from Soldatna, Alaska to Bear Mountain Lodge, aslo in Alaska. The aircraft crashed during takeoff, killing the pilot and all nine passengers.

    12 July 2013; Ethiopian Airlines 787-8; ET-AOP; flight 1354; London Heathrow Airport: While the aircraft was parked, unoccupied, and unpowered, and overheating battery associated with the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) caused a fire in the upper part of the rear fuselage. The fire severely damaged the fuselage, but did not cause any injuries or deaths. The AAIB investigation did not determine whether the overheating was caused by a release of energy within the lithium-manganese dioxide batteries, or if was due to an external mechanism like an electrical short. This particular ELT was entirely independent of the aircraft's electrical power system. This event was significant because this model of ELT is used on a wide range of aircraft, and of the roughly 6,000 units produced by the manufacturer, this event was the first recorded instant of a significant thermal event.
    AAIB report on the battery fire event
    Safety implications of this kind of fire
    Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes
    Boeing 787 safety events

    14 August 2013; UPS A300F4-622R; N155UP; flight 1354; Birmingham, AL: The aircraft was on a domestic cargo flight from Louisville, KY (SDF) to Birmingham, AL (BHM), crashed and burned during a landing attempt. The aircraft was destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire, and both pilots were killed. There were no other occupants, and no one was killed or injured on the ground.
    Additional details on the crash
    Airbus A300 plane crashes

  4. 16 October 2013; Lao Airlines ATR 72-600; RDPL-34233; flight QV301; near Pakxe, Laos: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Vientiane, the capitol of Laos, to Pakxe in southern part of the country. It crashed into the Mekong river during its approach and sank. The crash occurred about eight kilometers (five miles) from the airport. All five crew members and 44 passengers were killed.
    ATR 72 plane crashes

  5. 17 November 2013; Tartarstan Aircompany 737-500; VQ-BBN; flight 383; Kazan, Russia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Moscow to Kazan, Russia, and crashed during a landing attempt. All 44 passengers and six crew members were killed in the crash and subsequent fire. Irek Minnikhanov, son of Tatarstan president Rustam Minnikhanov, was among the passengers killed in the crash.
    More information on this event
    Plane crashes involving airlines of the former Soviet Union

  6. 29 November 2013; LAM Mozambique Airlines Embraer 190; C9-EMC; flight 470; Bwabwata National Park, Namibia: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Maputo, Mozambique to Luanda, Angola. While the aircraft was cruising at 38,000 feet, the captain apparently programmed the aircraft to descend to 592 feet, which was below ground level. Engine power was also set to idle, and the speedbrakes were manually deployed. These actions put the aircraft into a rapid descent, at one point triggering an overspeed warning. On three occasions, different altitudes were selected to order a descent to the ground with autopilot. The cockpit voice recorder showed several aural warnings, as well as noises of repeated knocking and calls, corresponding to attempts, presumably by the first officer, to get back into in the cockpit. The captain, the other five crew members, and all 27 passengers were killed in the crash.
    Wikipedia entry for flight 470
    Preliminary accident investigation report - 1 December 2014
    Final accident investigation report - 30 March 2016
    Other Embraer plane crashes

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2013 Airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/plane-crash/review-2013.htm -- Revised: 15 July 2019