Iberia Airlines Flight 610
An Iberia Boeing 727-200 similar to the one involved
|Date||19 February 1985|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain|
|Site||Mount Oiz, Biscay, Spain
|Aircraft type||Boeing 727–256|
|Flight origin||Madrid–Barajas Airport, Spain|
|Destination||Bilbao Airport, Spain|
Iberia Airlines Flight 610 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Madrid to Bilbao, Spain. On 19 February 1985, a Boeing 727-200 operating the flight crashed into a television antenna on the summit of Mount Oiz in Biscay near Bilbao. All 141 passengers and 7 crew on board died.
The aircraft involved was a Boeing 727–256 – a model of the Boeing 727 with three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A turbine engines capable of carrying 189 passengers – registered as EC-DDU. The aircraft was named Alhambra de Granada. It entered service on 18 May 1979 and had flown 13,408 hours at the time of the accident.
Flight 610 departed Madrid–Barajas Airport at 08:47 CET and was scheduled to land at Bilbao Airport at 09:35. While on a standard approach into Bilbao at 4,300 feet (1,310 meters), the crew switched on the altitude alert system whilst flying through overcast and rainy weather. The terrain alarm went off when the plane reached 4,040 feet (1,231 meters); the captain interpreted this to be the approach alert mode alarm and ignored it and continued the descent. The aircraft collided with an antenna tower at 3,356 feet (1,023 meters), shearing off its left wing, and then crashed. All 148 people on board died.
Investigators blamed the cause of the crash on pilot error because the flight crew misinterpreted data and flew the aircraft below the safety altitude. The accident report stated:
"Their [i.e. the pilots'] confidence on the automatic capture performed by the Altitude Alert System, the misinterpretation of its warnings, as well as a probable misreading of the altimeter made the crew fly below the safety altitude, colliding into the television antennas' base, thus losing the left wing, falling to the ground with no possible control of the aircraft.".