Narrative:The aircraft took off from Madrid-Barajas (MAD) at 08:30 GMT and proceeded normally to Lar Coruna (LCG). At 09:14 radio contact was made with La Coruna tower and the flight crew reported 3 minutes away. The tower controller informed the flight that weather at the airport was below minima and that improvement would be slow. The flight crew then decided to hold over Lima Romeo Alpha and said they would report when holding.
|Date:||Monday 13 August 1973|
|Type:||Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10R|
|C/n / msn:|| 225|
|First flight:|| 1967|
|Total airframe hrs:||13118|
|Engines:|| 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 79 / Occupants: 79|
|Total:||Fatalities: 85 / Occupants: 85 |
|Ground casualties:||Fatalities: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||near La Coruna (Spain)
|Phase:|| Approach (APR)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD/LEMD), Spain|
|Destination airport:||La Coruna Airport (LCG/LECO), Spain|
Shortly thereafter they informed the tower that they would make an approach down to minima to get a more precise idea of the weather and would hold thereafter. The controller switched on the VASIS and at 09:21 informed the flight that visibility was around 350 m, although he could not see the VASIS at the threshold of runway 22. The flight then reported at 3000 feet beginning the approach. At 09:23 the controller reported a visibility of 600 m. At 09:24 the pilot said he would attempt to land, that he was 2200 feet on approach and had not yet entered clouds. At 09:28 ATC reported 800 m visibility, but that a light breeze was coming up and fog was again closing in from the sea. The crew reported to the tower that they had descended to minima. Since the ground could not be seen, they would therefore begin to hold. At 09:32 the flight crew reported holding at 6000 feet and requested to be informed of any change that might take place.
At 09:34 the controller reported a visibility of 400 m, that the VASIS was still visible. The flight crew then tried to make another attempt to land. At 09:36 the flight crew reported passing the LRA VOR on approach. The controller answered that the lights of the VASIS were no longer visible and that some fog had collected over the runway threshold. The pilot then decided to resume holding.
Weather gradually improved and at 10:20 ATC reported a horizontal visibility of 1500 m and a vertical visibility of 150m which improved to 250-300m within three minutes. The pilot acknowledged and said he was leaving 5000 feet for approach. At 10:31 the flight reported passing LRA. At 10:32 the flight reported discontinuing the approach and 6 minutes later the pilot said he was initiating another approach and would report over LRA. At 10:39 the pilot reported over LRA again. Shortly afterward the Caravelle contacted eucalyptus trees, struck the ground, and collided with houses. A fire erupted.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Pilot violation of the regulations and instructions governing flight over national territory, and the international standards in force in Spain."
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest 21 (p.91)
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 Madrid-Barajas Airport to La Coruna Airport as the crow flies is 502 km (314 miles).