ASN logo
Accident description
Last updated: 23 April 2017
Date:Wednesday 7 February 2001
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214
Registration: EC-HKJ
C/n / msn: 1278
First flight: 2000
Total airframe hrs:1149
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 136
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 143
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Bilbao Airport (BIO) (   Spain)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN/LEBL), Spain
Destination airport:Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB), Spain
Following a nighttime flight from Barcelona to Bilbao, the crew positioned the plane for a runway 30 approach and landing. During their final ILS approach, the aircraft encountered heavy turbulence at about 200 feet agl. with gusts up to 65 mph. The aircraft encountered windshear with 1.25G updraft, downdraft and a tailwind gust at just 70 feet agl. When the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) sounded, the captain called for a go-around while pulling on the sidestick, reportedly without pressing his priority control button. The combination of dynamic winds and the crew actions created a situation that triggered the airplane's alpha protection system. As the crew applied TOGA power for a go-around, with both pilots pulling back on their sidesticks, the alpha protection law reduced the elevator nose-up command. Instead of a go- around, the aircraft struck the runway with a vertical speed of approx. 1,200 fpm. The nosegear collapsed and the aircraft skidded 3,280 feet (about 1000 m) down the runway before coming to a stop.

Probable Cause:

CAUSES: "The cause of the accident was the activation of the angle of attack protection system which, under a particular combination of vertical gusts and windshear and the simultaneous actions of both crew members on the sidesticks, not considered in the design, prevented the aeroplane from pitching up and flaring during the landing."

» SKYbrary 
» Air Safety Week, Vol. 15, No. 25

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes - Spain
report status: Final
report number: A-006/2001
report released:1 November 2006
duration of investigation: 5 years and 9 months
download report: Accident of aircraft Airbus A-320-214, registration EC-HKJ, at Bilbao Airport on 7 February 2001 (CIA A-006/2001)

Follow-up / safety actions
This incident prompted Airbus to develop a modification to its flight control software. It will prevent the airplane's built-in protection against stall from being activated by a high rate of change in angle of attack. As an interim action, an AD was issued requiring A.320/A.319 operators to fly at least 10 knots faster and to use only a setting of "CONFIG 3" during approach with gusts higher than 10 knots or when moderate to severe turbulence is expected on short final.


Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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 Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Bilbao Airport as the crow flies is 464 km (290 miles).

languages: languages


Airbus A320

  • 9th loss
  • 6th fatal accident
  • 4050+ built
  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 14th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile