Date: August 23, 2000
Time: 19:30
Location: Off Manama, Bahrain
Operator: Gulf Air
Flight #: 072
Route: Cairo - Manama
AC Type: Airbus A320-212
Registration: A4O-EK
cn / ln: 0481
Aboard: 143   (passengers:135  crew:8)
Fatalities: 143   (passengers:135  crew:8)
Ground: 0
Summary: The aircraft crashed into the Persian Gulf and exploded in flames while attempting to land at Bahrain International Airport. The crew decided to perform a missed approach after it was determined the aircraft was coming in too high and fast. Instructions were given for a 180 degree turn and climb to 2,500 feet. While performing the missed approach the plane suddenly descended rapidly from an altitude of 1,000 feet and crashed into the shallow waters of the gulf approximately 1 mile from the airport. The accident was a result of a fatal combination of factors, including the captain's failure to comply with standard operating procedures and the copilot's actions in not drawing the captain's attention to the deviations of the aircraft from the standard flight parameters. The captain may have suffered a "spatial disorientation" to ground warning systems, which could have made him falsely perceive the aircraft was pitching up. He responded by making a nose down input, resulting in the aircraft starting to descend, when aircraft warning systems were saying he should increase altitude.

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