Birgenair Flight 301 CVR Recording (With subtitles)

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Accident Description:

𝗕𝗶𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝟯𝟬𝟭 was an international charter flight from Puerto Plata to Frankfurt with an intermediate stop in Gander and Berlin. The flight was being operated by a Boeing 757 (Reg. TC-GEN) on 𝗙𝗲𝗯𝗿𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟲, 𝟭𝟵𝟵𝟲.

The flight initiated takeoff at 03:42:11. After a few seconds, the first officer made the standard call “80 knots” to which the captain answered that his airspeed indicator was not working. The first officer confirmed that his indicator was normal. The captain subsequently decided to continue the takeoff. While climbing through 4,700 feet the captain’s ASI read 350 knots (real speed was about 220 knots); this resulted in an autopilot/autothrottle reaction to increase the pitch-up attitude and a power reduction in order to lower the airspeed.

Both pilots got confused when the first officer stated that his ASI read 200 knots decreasing while getting an excessive speed-warning, followed by a stick shaker warning. This led the pilots to believe that both ASIs were unreliable. At 03:45:52 the power of both engines was reduced. At 03:46:57 the captain ordered the first officer to increase power but 2 seconds later the left engine flamed out while the right engine stayed at full power. At 03:47:09 an aural GPWS warning sounded. 8 seconds later the plane struck the ocean.

“The probable cause of the accident was the failure on the part of the flight crew to recognize the activation of the stick-shaker as an imminent warning of an entrance to aerodynamic stall and their failure to execute proper procedures for recovery of the control loss. Before activation of the stick-shaker, confusion of the flight crew occurred due to the erroneous indication of an increase in airspeed and a subsequent overspeed warning.”

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