Iberia Flight 602

On 7 January 1972, Iberia Flight 602 crashed into a mountain near Ibiza Town, Spain. The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle operating the flight had taken off from Valencia Airport in Valencia, Spain, destined for Ibiza Airport on the Balearic island of Ibiza. All 98 passengers and 6 crew died in the crash.

Iberia Flight 602
EC ATV Caravelle.jpg
EC-ATV, the aircraft involved in the incident
Date7 January 1972
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteSierra de Atalayasa, Spain
Coordinates: 38°54′13″N 1°15′04″E / 38.90361°N 1.25111°E / 38.90361; 1.25111
Aircraft typeSud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle
Aircraft nameMaestro Victoria
Flight originValencia Airport
DestinationIbiza Airport

Aircraft and crewEdit

The aircraft was a Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle that first flew on 25 June 1963 and was powered by two Rolls-Royce RA-29 Mk.533R Avon turbojet engines. Delivered to Iberia on 9 July, the aircraft was initially named Tomás Luis de Victoria after the Spanish Composer of the same name, though this was later shortened to Maestro Victoria.[1][2]

Flight 602 was under the command of 37-year-old captain José Luis Ballester Sepúlveda, with 7,000 flying hours' experience, first officer Jesús Montesinos Sánchez, and fight engineer Vicente Rodríguez Mesa.[3][4]

The crashEdit

Flight 602 was a domestic service flight that took off from Valencia Airport bound for Ibiza. On board were 6 crew and 98 passengers, most of whom were Valencia natives returning to Ibiza for work after the holidays.[5]

At approximately 12:15 p.m., the aircraft's captain radioed Ibiza Airport, requesting permission to descend to 5,500 feet (1,676 meters). Ibiza Airport sources reported that he also said, "Get me a beer ready, we are here."[5]

The aircraft was approaching Runway 07 when it descended below 2,000 feet (610 meters).[2] Reportedly, neither the captain nor the co-pilot noticed the dangerous descent, as they were discussing a football match with the airport tower controller.[2] Flight 602 struck Mount Atalayasa approximately 90 feet (27 meters) below its 1,515-foot (462-meter) summit.[5][6] The aircraft exploded on impact. All 98 passengers and 6 crew on board were killed.[3]

At the time of the crash, visibility was approximately 1,515 miles (2,438 kilometers) and the weather was described as high overcast with broken clouds.[citation needed]


It was ruled that the pilot had failed to maintain the minimum flight altitude for a visual approach to Runway 07.[7]


  1. ^ "Aircraft Data EC-ATV, 1963 Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VI-R C/N 163". www.airport-data.com. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Sud Aviation: Iberia EC-ATV – 07 January 1972". SudAviation.com. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Spanish jet crashes; 104 aboard killed". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. Reuters. 7 January 1972. Retrieved 29 March 2012 – via Google News.
  4. ^ "Crash of a Sud-Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VI-R in Ibiza: 104 killed". www.baaa-acro.com. Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Pilot calls for beer, then boom". Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. United Press International. 8 January 1972. Retrieved 29 March 2012 – via Google News.
  6. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Aircraft accident Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VIR EC-ATV Sierra de Atalayasa". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  7. ^ Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 104.

External linksEdit