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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Faulty Wing Flaps

So the Spanair crash was caused by faulty landing flaps and not by engine failure, as speculated earlier.

The flaps, which are found on the underside of a plane's wings, are used to reduce stall speed during take-off and landing.

And when those flaps didn't work, the MD-82 couldn't pick up as much speed as was needed to launch itself off and consequently, stalled and crashed.

Worse, an electrical failure also meant the pilots were unaware of the problem.

The flaps on the wing’s trailing edge and slats on the leading edge are essential for lift on take-off, and usually high on the pilots' priority list.

The cockpit voice recorder, recovered from the crash, showed that the crew had confirmed “Flaps OK, Slats OK” during their reading of the check list. The flaps were NOT okay.

That oversight wiped out the majority of passengers on the flight. In fact, it's Spain's worst crash in 25 years.

The aircraft's black boxes, or known in the industry as flight data recorders, are currently being analysed by a specialist laboratory in the United Kingdom.

1 comment:

tracon01 said...

The flaps generate lift during takeoff and during landing when egine power is reduced. Most aircraft have visual indicators showing how many degrees of flap have been selected for takeoff/landing. I believe, the Spanair crew retracted the flaps when they aborted the first takeoff attempt, and did not perform a proper pre-takeoff checklist their second attempt. Human error. t