CASA Crash

Questions and concerns about the safety and reliability of EADS CASA aircraft, and about the reliability of EADS as a U.S. defense partner

29 August 2001

Spain: CN-235 goes down in Malaga; 4 perish

Three passengers and a pilot died when a Spanish CN-235 crashed on a domestic flight to Málaga.

The BBC reports that the left engine failed and that the pilot's bravery and skill prevented further disaster.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, "After switching from the Approach to the Tower radio frequency, a no. 1 engine fire warning was noted by the crew. The co-pilot advised Malaga Tower of the emergency . . . . The co-pilot followed the emergency procedures, during which both engines were switched off. The plane descended and collided with the post of the first approach lights, 538 meters short of the runway threshold. It slid 220 meters, during which it hit five approach light stanchion[s] and finally hit the embankment of the N-340 motorway. Following the crash, some passengers remained trapped in the aircraft for 10 minutes until its rear door could be opened."

According to an official technical report, the cause is believed to have been a faulty electrical circuit that produced a false reading that the left engine was on fire, to which the crew may have improperly reacted with incorrect emergency fire procedures. Both engines reportedly failed.