Binter Mediterráneo Flight 8261
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|Date||29 August 2001|
|Aircraft type||CASA CN-235|
Binter Mediterráneo Flight 8261 (Registration EC-FBC), on 29 August 2001, crash-landed next to N-340, some 200 meters short of the runway 32 at Ruiz Picasso International Airport at Málaga, Spain. The pilot reported to Málaga Air Traffic Control, while on final approach, the aircraft's port engine had failed, and that he would have to perform an emergency landing. The plane descended hitting the first edge lights and stopping right on the N-340. Subsequent investigation into the accident revealed that, shortly after the initial engine failure, the First Officer inadvertently shut down both of the aircraft's engines, leading to a total loss of power. Four out of the 44 people on board were killed, including the pilot. The aircraft was scrapped.
The CN-235 as a commercial airliner
Although the CN-235 was designed for military purposes in the 1980s, it began to be used as a commercial plane, although it wasn't a very big success for airlines. Possibly its lack of success was due to its 50 passenger capacity and short range coupled with high fuel usage. Iberia LAE, Spain's flag carrier, bought four CN-235s from CASA aircraft for regional routes but in 1992 Aerolíneas Argentinas (then also a subsidiary of Iberia) ordered two of these aircraft for regional routes - to be operated by its subsidiary, Austral.
As reported by Binter Mediterráneo after the accident, this aircraft was subjected, in addition to the established numerous security patches:
Take-off and flight
Binter Mediterráneo Flight 8261 took off the at Melilla Airport at 09:37 CEST on 29 August 2001, with 47 persons aboard (44 passengers and 3 crew). The flight went without incident and the weather was fine and there was no delay.
Just after starting the landing maneuver, the port engine shut down. The pilot informed air traffic controllers at Malaga Airport that the plane would still make a landing, however, the plane lost altitude, and fell a few yards from the point of the emergency landing. The plane hit road N-340, which fortunately did not have any traffic in the impact area. According to the testimony of some of the passengers, the pilot did not report anything to the PA.
Three passengers were killed on impact (Emilio Martínez Plaza, 67; Mohamed Uassani, 46; both from Melilla, and Herve Troadec, 41 from France). Several hours later, the pilot, Mariano Hernández Ruano, 55; died at the Carlos Haya Hospital.
Initially, it was said that the copilot was confused by pressing a wrong button, which caused the engine to stop. Later, at trial, it was demonstrated that the copilot had successfully forfeited the maneuvers to be performed in such cases as the training they had received from the company. It also exonerated to both pilots and declared the company negligent in training its pilots. Binter Mediterráneo was also found culpable for the poor maintenance of its aircraft.
Remains of plane
The remains of the plane were taken to the CASA Sevilla factory, for an investigation. Following completion of the investigation, the aircraft was scrapped. The tail was saved however, and is exhibited in the Museo del Transporte Aéreo de Málaga.
- Final report (Archive) - Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission (Spanish)
- Reconstrucción del accidente El País. - Posted at UNAV (Spanish)
- Esparza, Cristina S. "4 muertos al estrellarse un avión que iba a ser retirado del servicio." El Mundo. Thursday, 30 August 2001. (Spanish)