ASN Aircraft accident SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc EC-ANR Guadarrama Mountains
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 4 December 1958
Type:Silhouette image of generic s161 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc
Registration: EC-ANR
MSN: 28
First flight: 1946
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Guadarrama Mountains (   Spain)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Vigo Airport (VGO/LEVX), Spain
Destination airport:Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD/LEMD), Spain
The aircraft took off from Vigo airport at 15:40 hours on a scheduled flight to Madrid. The flight was cleared IFR for cruising level 95. At 16:54 the aircraft advised Madrid D.F. station that it had overflown Salamanca at 16:50 at level 95 and estimated Madrid at 17:30 - also that its VHF equipment was out of order, and it was, therefore, requesting Barajas Tower to stand by on 3023.5 kc/s. At 17:10 Madrid control cleared the aircraft to proceed directly to Barajas radio range, maintaining flight level 95. At 17:15 Madrid control authorized the aircraft to switch over to 3023.5 kc/s and to establish contact with Barajas Tower on that frequency. This was the last communication with the aircraft. Between 17:15 and 17:20 the aircraft crashed and burst into flames on the peak of "La Rodina de la Mujer Muertal' which is 1999 metres, 800 m below FL95.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The above leads to the conclusion that if the accident was due to meteorological factors, icing would have been the factor most directly responsible. It is assumed that during its flight through innocuous stratiform clouds, the aircraft may have encountered a cumulus congestus where sudden severe icing occurred. The following may have taken place: a) A sudden change in the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft may have caused stalling without giving the time to initiate recovery action; b) the aircraft may have lost height rapidly, down to a level where th downdrafts over the lee slope swept it into a lower zone of erratic turbulence that sent it out of control; c) When icing occurred the captain may, in the belief he had already passed the mountain divide, have decided to fly below the freezing level which, as he knew was to be found at about 2 200 metres. It is possible that in assumptions (a) and (b) turbulence within the cumuli may have been a contributing factor. Under severe icing conditions the mechanical de-icing equipment is practically inoperative.
About 40 minutes before the accident, the mountain divide was overflown, also at level 95, by a scheduled Santiago-Madrid flight. This aircraft found nothing unusual to report, since light icing and turbulence are the normal accompaniments of winter weather in a low pressure area. This fact however in no way precludes the possibility that shortly thereafter conditions of severe icing may have prevailed."

Loss of control

» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.10, p.238


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Vigo Airport to Madrid-Barajas Airport as the crow flies is 461 km (288 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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