Pilot Error Caused Plane Crash: Investigation Committee

November 4, 2000
TAIPEI -- Taiwan's chief investigator said on Friday that the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Boeing 747 jetliner crashed Tuesday because the pilot made the error of using the wrong runway.
"Black box recordings show that the pilot received correct instruction but he used the wrong runway, so the plane's wing hit two shovels and the jet crashed," Jung Kai, head of the Flight Safety Investigation Committee, told a news conference.
"At 11:17:13, the captain mumbled a curse and said something's there' after the first collision. A second later, he cursed again when there was the sound of a series of collisions. Four seconds later, the tape went dead," Jung said.
Malaysian captain Foong Chee Kong, 41, received order to takeoff from the left runway 05l, but he used the one on the right, 05R, which was under repair and had two hydraulic shovels standing on it, Jung said.
Jung released the committee's initial findings after Taiwan, Singapore, U.S. and Australian investigators had listened to SQ006'S cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR), and gathered evidence at the crash scene.
The findings will help prosecutors determine the cause of the crash at the Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport near Taipei.
A thorough investigation will take about three months, Jung said.