Thursday, 21 August 2008
Spanair Crash In Madrid
This is a nasty one. You can barely find intact parts - only debris. This plane crash killed 153.
Summer is almost ending and it's at the height of the vacation season. I know, because most of my colleagues in Madrid are away from their desks in the office.
It feels frighteningly close to home because I have been to the Barajas Airport in Madrid, though I've never flown Spanair.
The black box (known in aviation circles as the 'flight data recorder') was retrieved from the debris. We'll probably know what happened soon enough.
Initial reports suggested that a fire had broken out in one of the engines during or shortly after take-off from Terminal Four, and the plane ended up in a field.
The plane had earlier begun taxiing to the runway, before turning back because of a technical problem, which had caused an hour's delay in the take-off.
The pilot had reported a fault with a temperature gauge, but it was thought to have been fixed. It is possible that there was indeed a big problem, just not with the gauge.
The aircraft in question was an American-made McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 so apparently the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending an investigation team to Madrid.
Let's see if they can somehow blame the crash on Malaysian engineers.