PauknAir Flight 4101

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PauknAir Flight 4101
Accident summary
Date 25 September 1998 (1998-09-25)
Summary Controlled flight into terrain aggravated by the aircraft crew following airline's faulty procedures
Site Boumahfouda, Morocco
Passengers 34
Crew 4
Fatalities 38 (all)
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 0
Aircraft type BAe 146
Operator PauknAir
Registration EC-GEO
Flight origin Málaga Airport
Destination Melilla Airport
PauknAir BAe 146

PauknAir Flight 4101 was a British Aerospace BAe 146 that crashed on a flight from Málaga, Spain to the Spanish North African exclave of Melilla. All 38 passengers and crew on board the aircraft were killed in the accident.

The aircraft[edit]

The aircraft made its first flight in 1983 and was the seventh BAe 146 built. PauknAir had been operating the aircraft since it was established and was the second operator of the aircraft since it was built.[1]


The aircraft took off from runway 14 at Malaga's Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport at 8:23 (local time). On board were 34 passengers and a crew of four. The flight proceeded normally, without any problems and with fair weather conditions.

The descent began at 6:41 (Morocco time; 8:41 Melilian time). In the area of Cape Tres Forcas (the headland on which Melilla is situated), low visibility is common, as clouds accumulate between the valleys formed by the steep mountains of the cape. The descent continued in Instrument meteorological conditions. In communications with Air traffic control, the pilot complained of the fog. Some of his last words were: "I see nothing"'.

At 6:49, there were two Terrain awareness and warning system signals in the cockpit of "terrain", which indicates that the aircraft was too low. The accident investigation concluded "Given the facts and analysis conducted, the Commission concluded that the accident was caused by a collision with terrain in IMC. This confirms the hypothesis put forward by members of the committee of investigation from the beginning of their investigations, it is a type of CFIT accident (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) due to a combination of several factors:

  • Non-application of the arrival procedure, including descending below the minimum safe altitude
  • Inadequate crew coordination
  • Non-application of company procedures regarding GPWS alarm."[2]


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