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CVR transcript Alitalia Flight 4128 - 23 - DEC 1978
Last updated: 16 October 2004
Cockpit voice recorder transcript of the December 23, 1978 accident of Alitalia Flight 4128, a Douglas DC-9 off Palermo.

Source: English translation of original Italian transcript of the CVR, reported on VOLARE, year V, n. 44. CVR transcript provided by Enrico Zaffiri.

The reader of these transcripts is cautioned that the transcription of a CVR tape is not a precise science but is the best possible product from a group investigative effort. The transcript, or parts thereof, if taken out of context can be misleading. Therefore, the CVR transcripts should only be viewed as an investigative tool to be used in conjunction with other evidence. Conclusions or interpretations should not be made using the transcript as the sole source of information.
Furthermore, this transcript is made available for educational purposes, so the reader is encouraged to read the accident description associated with the transcripts for better understanding of the circumstances.

APP: Palermo Procedural Approach Control
CAPT: Captain
PIL: Co-Pilot
Stw: steward
RDR: Palermo Radar Monitor
C.RAD: radio transmission by the Captain
[...]: phrases included in square brackets are integration for better clarity.
time source content
0:34:00 PIL Let's say we're leaving Guffy and four thousand. [position about 17.5 NM from PRS, altitude about 4100 ft, slightly east of the 217 radial]
C.RAD Alitalia four one two eight leaving Guffy and four thousand.
APP Roger, leaving Guffy and four thousand at three-five. Report...twelve miles out.
C.RAD Twelve miles out.
0:35:15 APP For further, contact Radar 118.6
C.RAD One-eighteen-six.
C.RAD Radar, four-one-two-eight, good evening
RDR 4128, Radar, good evening, go ahead.
C.RAD We're leaving three thousand now and we're thirteen and half miles from Rais [PRS VOR/DME]
RDR Roger. Proceed as cleared by the Approach. Report ten miles from PRS for identification. Radar monitor service, VOR/DME two approach, runway in use 21.
C.RAD Runway 21. VOR/DME two. We'll call you at ten miles.
PIL Uh, if it's a run...we could also make a straight...
Stw Nooo....
PIL Ah...
CAPT Mmmh...uh...Straight, there it is. Straighter than this...we're going straight to the runway. We have it slightly displaced...
Stw Yeah, I've briefly got it.
CAPT Me too, but it appears then disappers...
Stw ...then desappears and we get fucked !
PIL Ten miles now.
0:37:00 C.RAD Ten miles, 4128.
RDR Identified. Continue [approach]. Slightly to the right, to the right of the 217 [radial]. Report runway in sight.
C.RAD. We'll call you with the runway in sight. (Sound of radioaltimeter tone, preselected) [Aircraft is passing 2000 ft radio, about 10.5 NM out, almost perfectly aligned with the 217 radial, slightly below theoretical descent path]
PIL I see the runway.
Stw It could be that one...
CAPT No, it's better to...
PIL Radioaltimeter...our minima here are seven hundred.
PIL He told us we're to the right...
CAPT Slightly to the right.
PIL I'd say we're to the left.
Stw To left for me also.
CAPT Uh...
0:37:30 PIL The runway, that's it just ahead of us. So we were slightly to the right and not to the left. [according to radar recordings, distance is now 7.5 NM from PRS and the aircraft is diverging from the radial, being slightly to the east, that is to say right o
RDR Seven miles. Aligned now. Continue and report.
C.RAD. We'll report.
CAPT Would we put something ?
PIL Fifteen ! [flaps are lowered to 15 ]
PIL Those were other lights.
Stw Maybe I was fooled by that one...
00: 38: 00 PIL Gear. [landing gear is extended. The aircrafts is at about 6 DME, approaching 700 ft when altitude should be 1500 ft, east of the 217 radial]
(sound of radioaltimeter tone, 700 ft preselected)
RDR 4128, now you're going to the left of radial. Going left of radial, mile. [this information is correct regarding to the aircraft]
C.RAD. We're slightly left of radial. Which is our position at the moment ?
RDR Your position five miles. Five miles from PRS.
CAPT You got this one. But the runway is that one !
Stw Uh.
PIL So he gave us wrong indications.
RDR 4128, Radar. [The pilot initiates a mild right turn while continuing descent)
C.RAD. Go ahead.
RDR Four miles, still left of two-one seven.
0:38:40 (sound of radioaltimeter tone, 200 ft, automatic)
CAPT Wait a minute...
PIL So he gave us wrong indications... [Descent is stopped]
CAPT Let's call Radar...
PIL We thought we were to the left... (noise of crash. End of recording)