Narrative:Comet G-APDN departed Manchester at 16:08 for a charter flight to Barcelona. ATC delays in the Paris area resulted in a different route to be flown. At 17:53 the pilot contacted Barcelona ACC. The aircraft was then cleared to descend from FL220 to FL90. At 17:59 the flight switched to Barcelona Approach. Barcelona Approach cleared the crew direct to the Sabadell beacon and cleared them to descend to FL60. While carrying out a left turn to a heading of 140deg, as instructed by Barcelona Approach, the crew mistakenly reported passing the Sabadell NDB. At that time another aircraft overflew Sabadell, causing the error to go unnoticed by the controller. The controller then cleared the Comet to descend to 2800 feet. At approx. 18:05 UTC the aircraft struck beech trees on the north-east slopes of the cloud-covered Les Angudes peak at an altitude of about 3800 feet and crashed.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "To sum up, it can be deduced that the combination of erroneous information regarding reporting points, together with the existence of a radar echo over Sabadell NDB (coinciding with the report from the aircraft of passing that reporting point), led both the aircraft and APP to believe, erroneously, that the aircraft was already over Sabadell; this was an involuntary error (on both sides: ATC and aircraft) which was physically impossible to correct when Air Traffic Control realised it."
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain
» Flight International 09.07.1970 (39)
Official accident investigation report
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 Manchester International Airport to Barcelona-El Prat Airport as the crow flies is 1369 km (856 miles).