Spantax Flight 995

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Spantax Flight 995
Spantax McDonnell Douglas DC-10 EC-DEG.jpg
The aircraft involved at Zurich Airport in 1981.
Accident summary
Date 13 September 1982
Summary Aborted take-off
Site Málaga Airport
36°39′48″N 4°29′03″W / 36.66333°N 4.48417°W / 36.66333; -4.48417Coordinates: 36°39′48″N 4°29′03″W / 36.66333°N 4.48417°W / 36.66333; -4.48417
Passengers 381
Crew 13
Fatalities 50
Injuries (non-fatal) 110
Survivors 344[1]
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30CF
Operator Spantax
Registration EC-DEG

Spantax Flight 995 was a charter flight from Madrid-Barajas Airport to New York via Málaga Airport. When the aircraft was rolling for take-off, the pilot felt a strong vibration and aborted the take-off. The flightcrew lost control of the aircraft and were unable to stop in the runway available and the aircraft overran the runway, hit an airfield aerial installation, losing an engine, then crossed the Malaga–Torremolinos Highway, hitting a number of vehicles before finally hitting a railway embankment and bursting into flames. An emergency evacuation of the aircraft was carried out but 50 on board died of both burns and other injuries. A further 110 persons were hospitalized.

The cause of the accident was the detachment of fragments from a recapped tread on the right wheel of the nose gear, creating a strong vibration. Not knowing the cause of the vibration, the pilot aborted the takeoff, even though he was past the Vr speed (the speed of rotation). This was not the standard procedure, but it was considered reasonable under the abnormal circumstances.[2] It was noted that pilot training only covered engine failures on take-off and there was a lack of training on wheel failures.[3]

Passenger Carlton Maloney, an audio-visual specialist at Pace University, was recording audiotape during the accident as part of a series of recordings of airplane takeoffs and landings. As it became clear that something was going wrong, he began to report on the incident and its immediate aftermath. Chicago DJ Steve Dahl played Maloney's tape on his 26 March 2010 podcast.[4][5]


  1. ^ Ministerio de Fomento. "Accident Report on Spantax Flight 995" (PDF). Retrieved 22 April 2010.  (see p9)
  2. ^
  3. ^ UK CAA Document CAA 429 World Airline Accident Summary (ICAO Summary 1985-5)
  4. ^ "A Grisly Triptych of Disasters". Time Magazine. 27 September 1982. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "Steve Dahl on WJMK discusses the accident and the Carlton Maloney audio (hour 4, 2:20 and 28:08).". Steve Dahl Show. Transcript. Chicago. 30 July 2008. WJMK. Retrieved 30 July 2008. [dead link]

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