Turkish Airlines Flight 5904

Turkish Airlines Flight 5904 was a Boeing 737-400 on an international repositioning flight from Adana Şakirpaşa Airport in Adana, Turkey to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which crashed on 7 April 1999 in the vicinity of Ceyhan, Adana Province in southern Turkey some eight minutes after takeoff. The flight was on its way to Saudi Arabia to pick up pilgrims from Jeddah, and as such took off without any passengers on board. All six crew members were killed in the crash.

Turkish Airlines Flight 5904
Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400; TC-JEG@FRA;27.12.1995 (6172566192).jpg
A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400, similar to the one involved.
Date7 April 1999
SummaryImpacted ground shortly after takeoff due to inactive pitot tube anti-ice protection.
SiteNear Ceyhan, Adana Province, Turkey
37°12′N 35°21′E / 37.200°N 35.350°E / 37.200; 35.350Coordinates: 37°12′N 35°21′E / 37.200°N 35.350°E / 37.200; 35.350
Aircraft typeBoeing 737-400
Aircraft nameTrakya
OperatorTurkish Airlines
Flight originAdana Şakirpaşa Airport, Adana, Turkey
DestinationKing Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


The aircraft was a Boeing 737-400, built in 1995, registered as TC-JEP, and named Trakya. Owned by ILFC, an American aircraft lessor, it was equipped with two CFM International CFM56 engines and had accumulated around 11,600 flight hours in 6,360 flight cycles up until the time of the crash.[1]

The preceding flight from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had uneventfully transferred 150 pilgrims returning from the hajj to Adana Şakirpaşa Airport, where it landed at around 23:45 EET (20:45 UTC). Remaining on the ground for around one hour for refueling, Flight 5904 took off with a new crew – two pilots and four flight attendants – and around 10 to 15 tons of fuel at 00:36 EET to pick up more pilgrims from Jeddah.[2]

Before takeoff, upon request by the crew, the air traffic controller at Incirlik Air Base relayed the weather report, informing the crew that the entire aerodrome was completely covered by thunderstorms and that the thunderstorms were moving from the south towards the north.[2]


At 00:44 EET, at an altitude of around 10,000 feet (3.0 km), the aircraft started to descend and crashed into a field some 30 nautical miles (56 km) east-northeast of the airport near Hamdilli village, in the vicinity of Ceyhan, Adana Province. The force of the impact created a 15 metres (49 ft) deep and 30 square metres (320 sq ft) large hole. The horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft was discovered some 250 metres (820 ft) away from the main wreckage, which was spread over an area of around 500 square metres (5,400 sq ft). All six occupants were instantly killed.[3][4][5]

The crash resulted in a large explosion that was reported near Hamdili. After the aircraft vanished from radar, air traffic controllers at Adana Airport and Incirlik Air Base immediately notified the Gendarmerie and the police to initiate search and rescue efforts.


The investigation into the accident was carried out by Turkey's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The cockpit voice recorder revealed that while the crew was struggling to regain control of the aircraft, at least some of the four flight attendants were inside the cockpit panicking and screaming. The copilot was heard telling the captain "aman ağabey, gittik, gidiyoruz, bas.." (which roughly translates into "Oh brother, we've gone, we're going, push...").[6]

Final reportEdit

The final report concluded that:[2][7]

  1. Severe thunderstorms probably contributed to the accident.
  2. The pitot static anti-ice system was probably not activated during preparations for flight.
  3. The crew failed to recognize the cause of erratic airspeed indication.
  4. The crew failed to use other cockpit indications for control and recovery of the airplane.
  5. The presence of cabin crew in the cockpit probably distracted the cockpit crew.


  1. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Accident report TC – JEP (07.04.1999)" (in Turkish). Civil Aviation Authority. Archived from the original on 15 June 2008.
  3. ^ "MİLLİYET HABER SAYFALARI" [NATIONAL NEWS PAGES]. Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  4. ^ "THY uçağı Adana'da düştü" [Turkish Airlines crashes in Adana] (in Turkish). Hürriyet. 7 April 1999. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Aynı faciayı biz de yaşadık" [We experienced the same disaster] (in Turkish). Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  6. ^ "1999 THY – Trakya Uçağı Kazası" [1999 THY - Thrace Aircraft Accident]. www.hvtd.org (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Identification: DCA99RA053". National Transportation Safety Board. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.