On the snowy night of November 24th, 2001, Crossair Flight LX 3597 - an Avro RJ100 regional airliner en route from Berlin - aborts its ILS landing at Zurich Airport and crashes into a wooded hillside, 4km short of the runway.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Damir Andrei ...
Captain Lutz
...
First Officer Loehrer
...
Peter Hogenkamp
...
Air Traffic Controller (as Hanna Cheesman)
...
Daniel Kneght
Oliver Dawson ...
Jean Overney
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Franz Brunner ...
Himself - Eyewitness
Hans-Peter Graf ...
Himself - Aviation Consultant
Peter Hogenkamp ...
Himself - Passenger, Crossair Flight 3597
Othmar Hummel ...
Himself - BFU Investigator
Daniel Knecht ...
Himself - BFU Investigator
Jean Overney ...
Himself - Investigator in Charge, BFU
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Storyline

On the snowy night of November 24th, 2001, Crossair Flight LX 3597 - an Avro RJ100 regional airliner en route from Berlin - aborts its ILS landing at Zurich Airport and crashes into a wooded hillside, 4km short of the runway.

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Release Date:

13 March 2011 (Canada)  »

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Goofs

Throughout the final approach, it is consistently shown than the airport and its surroundings dozens of miles around are hit by a massive blizzard and a snowfall and the visibility is borderline. Yet, the crash site less than 2.5 km from the runway is completely devoid of any snow on the ground or trees (in fact, you can see some fresh, green leaves on the trees). Moreover, the eyewitness to the crash is walking his dog through a completely snow-free streets, clearly wearing a summer flat shoes and a T-shirt. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too Low.
25 February 2017 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A CrossAir jet with some two dozen passengers takes off from Berlin en route Zurich. It's night time and beginning to snow but the flight is normal. The pilot has a great deal of experience, both as a crew member and as an instructor for CrossAir. The co-pilot is much younger but still a qualified pilot.

Since it's late at night there is little traffic at Zurich and CrossAir is cleared for landing on a runway lacking sophisticated technology, the usual runway not being used after 10PM because of noise.

Both pilots are searching for the runway lights when the airplane runs out of altitude and crashes into a hill, killing all but a few of those aboard.

Investigators go over all possible causes -- instrument failure, Air Traffic Control instructions, weather, and so on. The only conclusion is that the pilot was incompetent. He'd had many hours in the air but had consistently failed exams and made elementary errors. In this case he ignored the altimeter, which showed that he'd descended below safety height, and his co-pilot was reluctant to point out the mistake.

Except for the fact that he was a nincompoop and responsible for the deaths of two dozen people, I kind of liked this pilot because he made the kind of stupid mistakes that I would make. On a tourist flight over Swiss rivers, he got lost and unwittingly was flying over Italy. He didn't realize it until his passengers pointed out that the highway signs were in Italian. And he'd once retracted the landing gear while the airplane was on the ground and stationary.

But the problem wasn't the pilot's alone. It was systemic. In the 70s and 80s people began taking short flights instead of using mass transportation like a train or a bus. This caused many smaller airlines like CrossAir to expand rapidly and continue to employ pilots with fewer qualifications.

The conditions causing the crash have now been corrected and in fact CrossAir is no more, having been folded into SwissAir. I'd still think twice before flying with them.


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