ATR Crash in thailand kills captain

 - August 31, 2009, 5:38 AM

An ATR 72-212 operated by Thailand’s Bangkok Airways crashed into a disused ATC tower on August 4, killing the aircraft’s captain and injuring the copilot and six passengers. According to the operator, the airliner had been landing on the resort island of Koh Samui in heavy rain and wind when it skidded off the 4,724-foot runway.

The aircraft carried 68 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants. Four passengers, including two British citizens, an Italian and a Swiss, suffered broken legs. The copilot also sustained leg injuries, and two other passengers were hospitalized, according to Bangkok Airways president Capt. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth. Flight PG266 had flown into Koh Samui at around 2:15 p.m. local time from the resort city of Krabi.

Thai aviation authorities have begun an investigation. Local police confirmed that the nose of the aircraft–S/N 670–collided with a former ATC tower, which at the time of the accident served as part of the airport fire station, and indicated that the captain’s left seat would have borne the brunt of the impact. Authorities have recovered the flight data and voice recorders and awaited approval from doctors to question the hospitalized copilot.

Aircraft manufacturer ATR said it sent a team of technical experts to the crash site to assist Thai investigators. “The investigation remains the entire responsibility of the relevant board and it would be inappropriate for ATR to enter into any form of speculation,” it said in response to requests for comment.