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Iberia Airlines Flight 933 was an international flight from Madrid Barajas International Airport bound for its destination, Boston-Logan International Airport in Boston, that suffered a runway incident on December 17, 1973. As the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, the aircraft operating the flight was approaching the airport, it collided with the ALS system 500 feet short from the runway threshold. This critically damaged the frontal gear, collapsing it. The aircraft came to a rest 300 feet before the runway. Although all 168 onboard survived, the plane was written off. This accident was the first hull loss of the DC-10.

Iberia Airlines Flight 933
Iberia DC-10 EC-CBN,1973.jpg
EC-CBN, the aircraft involved, at Madrid-Barajas Airport in June 1973.
Accident
DateDecember 17, 1973 (1973-12-17)
Summarypilot error leading to Spatial disorientation
Sitenear Boston-Logan International Airport
Aircraft
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
Aircraft nameCosta Brava
OperatorIberia Airlines
RegistrationEC-CBN
Flight originMadrid Barajas International Airport, Madrid, Spain
DestinationBoston-Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts
Passengers154
Crew14
Fatalities0
Injuries13 (3 serious)
Survivors168 (all)

Contents

Aircraft And CrewEdit

The aircraft operating was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, manufactured in early 1973 by McDonnell Douglas at Long Beach Airport, California.[1] At the time of the accident, it was nine months old and flown a total of 2,016 flight hours. It was registered as N54627 during a certification test but re-registered as EC-CBN when it was delivered to Iberia Airlines in August 1973.[2] Once, it was photographed previously for Iberia Airlines postcards and merchandise.[3][4]

InvestigationEdit

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the cause of the accident after its occurrence. According to the aircraft's flight data recorder, it explained that its descent rate was increasing too rapidly during the approach, the result of a wind shear encounter. It was discovered that the captain and the first officer failed to recognize the rate change until the aircraft collided with the ALS piers. It was also discovered that the changes in weather had directed their attention away from monitoring the descent rate. 11 months after the accident in 1974, the NTSB confirmed their probable cause of the crash.[5] In the accident report, in a statement, it claims "The captain did not recognize and may have been unable to recognize, an increased rate of descent in time to arrest it before the aircraft struck the approach light piers. The increased rate of descent was induced by an encounter with low-level wind shear at a critical point in the landing approach where he was transitioning from automatic flight control under instrument flight conditions to manual flight control with visual references. The captain's ability to detect and arrest the increased rate of descent was adversely affected by a lack of information as to the existence of the wind shear and the marginal visual cues available. The minimal DC-10 wheel clearance above the approach lights and the runway threshold afforded by the ILS glide slope made the response time critical and, under the circumstances, produced a situation wherein a pilot's ability to make a safe landing was greatly diminished."[6]

The DC-10 had eight emergency exits, but after the crash, only four could be operated. The number 1 right exit had a fault in the mechanism and could not be opened. Due to the weak floor at the end of the aircraft, the floor had become deformed, causing failures in multiple-seat tracks and restraints, and also destroyed the two emergency exits at the back of the aircraft. This meant that the passengers in the back had to climb out of the section through the roof that had broken and jump off onto the ground, causing even more injuries[7]. Due to the floor disintegrating, rock and mud were thrown into the rear compartment of the aircraft.

The parts of the floor that had broken apart were between fuselage stations (sections in the aircraft fuselage) 1530 to 1850. Compared to American Airlines Flight 96, stations 1801 to 1921 had failed[8]. The same floor section had collapsed in both crashes.

AftermathEdit

The NTSB issued seven safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration on September 6, 1974. All of them were closed and with acceptable action.

A-74-77: RELOCATE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ILS GLIDE SLOPE TRANSMITTER SITES IN ACCORDANCE WITH FAA ORDER 8260.24 TO PROVIDE A LARGER MARGIN OF SAFETY FOR WIDE-BODIED AIRCRAFT DURING CATEGORY I APPROACHES.

A-74-78: AS AN INTERIM MEASURE, INCREASE DH AND VISIBILITY MINIMUMS FOR THOSE APPROACHES WHERE THE COMBINATION OF THE GLIDE SLOPE TRANSMITTER ANTENNA INSTALLATION AND THE AIRCRAFT GLIDE SLOPE RECEIVER ANTENNA INSTALLATION PROVIDE A NOMINAL WHEEL CLEARANCE OF LESS THAN 20 FEET AT THE RUNWAY THRESHOLD

A-74-79: PENDING THE RELOCATION OF THE GLIDE SLOPE FACILITY TO COMPLY WITH FAA ORDER 8260.24, EXPEDITE THE MODIFICATIONS TO OFFICIAL U.S. INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES SO THAT THEY DISPLAY GLIDE SLOPE RUNWAY THRESHOLD CROSSING HEIGHT FOR ALL APPROACHES HAVING A TCH OF LESS THAN 47 FEET.

A-74-80: ISSUE AN ADVISORY CIRCULAR WHICH DESCRIBES THE WIND SHEAR PHENOMENON, HIGHLIGHTS THE NECESSITY FOR PROMPT PILOT RECOGNITION AND PROPER PILOTING TECHNIQUES TO PREVENT SHORT OR LONG LANDINGS, AND EMPHASIZES THE NEED TO BE CONSTANTLY AWARE OF THE AIRCRAFT\'S RATE OF DESCENT, ATTITUDE AND THRUST DURING APPROACHES USING AUTOPILOT/AUTOTHROTTLE SYSTEMS.

A-74-81: MODIFY INITIAL AND RECURRENT PILOT TRAINING PROGRAMS AND TESTS TO INCLUDE A DEMONSTRATION OF THE APPLICANT\'S KNOWLEDGE OF WIND SHEAR AND ITS EFFECT ON AN AIRCRAFT\'S FLIGHT PROFILE, AND OF PROPER PILOTING TECHNIQUES NECESSARY TO COUNTER SUCH EFFECTS.

A-74-82: EXPEDITE THE DEVELOPMENT, TESTING AND OPERATIONAL USE OF THE ACOUSTIC DOPPLER WIND MEASURING SYSTEM.

A-74-83: DEVELOP AN INTERIM SYSTEM WHEREBY WIND SHEAR INFORMATION DEVELOPED FROM METEOROLOGICAL MEASUREMENTS OR PILOT REPORTS WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE PILOTS OF ARRIVING AND DEPARTING AIRCRAFT.

EC-CBN was heavily damaged beyond repair and it was written off 2 months later. It was later scrapped in 1974.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "EC-CBN Iberia McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  2. ^ "Iberia EC-CBN (McDonnell Douglas DC-10 - MSN 46925) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  3. ^ "EC-CBN: El breve "Costa Brava" *". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  4. ^ "Iberia McDonnell Douglas DC-10 (postcard)". Flickr. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  5. ^ "Event Details". www.fss.aero. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  6. ^ "MC DONNELL - DOUGLAS DC - 10 - Accident of EC-CBN (46925/87)". www.taxiways.de. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  7. ^ Godson, John (1975). The rise and fall of the DC-10. D. McKay Co. p. 193. ISBN 0679505288. OCLC 1245951.
  8. ^ Godson, John (1975). The rise and fall of the DC-10. D. McKay Co. p. 196. ISBN 0679505288. OCLC 1245951.

External linksEdit