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The Poldercrash

Turkish Airlines Flight 1951

Feb. 25, 2009: A Boeing 737-800 lay in pieces on a freshly tilled farm field approximately 1.5 kilometers short of runway 18R at Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS). The flight, Turkish Airlines 1951 (TK1952), was en route from Istanbul-Ataturk International Airport (IST) carrying 128 passengers and seven crewmembers. Although five passengers and four crewmembers perished (including all three pilots), 126 occupants survived the crash. Six weathered the crash unscathed, while the remaining 120 sustained minor to severe injuries. Analysis of the flight data would confirm a critical instrument malfunction, subtle in its impact on the automated flight controls in use and possibly overlooked by the flight crew. As Flight TK1951 approached runway 18R (locally known as the Polderbaan), this malfunction would prove to be disastrous.