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Last updated: 16 September 2019
Status:
Date:Friday 14 September 1979
Time:00:47
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Operator:Aero Trasporti Italiani - ATI
Registration: I-ATJC
C/n / msn: 47667/776
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:10000
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 27 / Occupants: 27
Total:Fatalities: 31 / Occupants: 31
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:6 km (3.8 mls) NW of Sarroch (   Italy)
Crash site elevation: 610 m (2001 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Alghero-Fertilia Airport (AHO/LIEA), Italy
Destination airport:Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG/LIEE), Italy
Flightnumber:BM12
Narrative:
ATI Flight 12, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, took off from Alghero Airport, Sardinia, Italy, at 00:10. The aircraft was bound for Rome-Fiumicino Airport with a planned stop at Cagliari on the southern part of the island of Sardinia.
The first officer contacted the controller at Cagliari at 00:23, asking for a weather report. The controller replied that runway 14 was in use, a wind from 190° at 8 knots, and a visibility of 7 km. He also stated there were thunderstorms without precipitation, south-east and south-west of the airport.
After contacting the Cagliari Tower controller at 00:26, the flight was cleared to descend to the transition altitude of 6000 feet. Having in front of them a consistent formation of Cumulonimbus clouds, the first officer radioed their intention to make a 360° turn to further lower the altitude and thus avoid the cloud formations.
The controller, not having traffic in the area, authorized the manoeuvre, and first officer then announced the intention to leave at 7500 feet for 3000 feet.
The controller then asked the flight if they had visual contact with the ground, but this was not the case. The clearance was amended to go down to 6000 feet instead of 3000 feet.
Art 00:30 the flight reported that it was in visual contact with the ground, and that it was about to leave 6000 ft for 3000 ft. The controller confirmed this, adding that it had started to rain at the airport in the meantime.
The aircraft however did not complete the planned 360° turn, thus finding itself with a different heading from that initially planned.
After reaching 3000 feet, the flight was cleared for the approach. The first officer confirmed this and announced that they would start the final approach with a slight deviation to the right of the beacon.
At 00:34 the first officer asked the controller to confirm that the ILS system was inoperative, which it was. At this stage of the flight the crew became unaware of their position. The captain believed he was flying over the sea, further south than the actual position of the aircraft, while the first officer rightly believed he was flying over the mountainous terrain of southern Sardinia.
In the last minute and a half of the flight, the captain asked the first officer to lower the undercarriage and continued the descent.
At an altitude of 2000 feet (610 m) the DC-9 hit the rocky mountainside of Conca d'Oru with the lower part of the fuselage, causing the aircraft to break up. A fire erupted. The point of impact was 18 km south-west of the airport.

Classification:
Wrong or misinterpreted ATC instructions
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» Airmanship Online (Spring 1999)
» ICAO Adrep 3/90 (#16)
» Marco Carcioffo
» aviazionecivile.it


Photos

photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
photo of DC-9-32-I-ATJC
accident date: 14-09-1979
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
registration: I-ATJC
 

Map
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 Alghero-Fertilia Airport to Cagliari-Elmas Airport as the crow flies is 166 km (104 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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