Accident McDonnell Douglas MD-83 EC-GQG, Sunday 23 January 2005
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Date:Sunday 23 January 2005
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD83 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
Registration: EC-GQG
MSN: 49577/1454
Year of manufacture:1988
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 43
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Oviedo/Aviles-Asturias Airport (OVD) -   Spain
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI/LEPA)
Destination airport:Oviedo/Aviles-Asturias Airport (OVD/LEAS)
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Spanair flight 5811, an MD-83, departed Palma de Mallorca Airport, Spain, at 17:04 hours local time. Estimated flying time was 1 hour and 29 minutes. The copilot was Pilot Flying.
Weather at the destination, Oviedo-Asturias Airport, was poor with rain, fog and a cloud base of 300 ft. The flight crew decided to hold at FL100 over the Asturias VOR. The captain assumed the role of Pilot Flying at this time.
Once the weather improved, approaches to runway 29 resumed. Two aircraft landed before flight JK5811 without reporting any problems. Since the cloud base was between 200 and 400 ft, the flight was force to make an ILS approach to runway 29, which meant a landing with a tail wind as winds were reported from 050° at 10 kt with gusts to 18 kt. The tail wind component was calculated to be 5-9,5 knots and the aircraft's tail wind limit was 10 knots.
When the aircraft was at 270 ft, the crew reported runway in sight. Nine seconds later and twelve seconds before touchdown, the captain disconnected the autopilot. The autothrottle system remained active. Descent rate fluctuated, at times reaching 1000 ft/min.
The pilot stated that at about 50 ft he observed an uncommanded descent of the aircraft and tried to compensate by increasing the engine thrust. On touchdown the vertical acceleration reached 4.11g. The aircraft bounced and touched down again, with one of the wheels hitting a runway edge light on the right hand side. Spoilers then extended and the thrust reversers were activated by the crew. The aircraft decellerated normally and taxied to the platform. Substantial damage to the airframe was noted.
The captain sustained serious spinal injuries. He was briefly incapacitated after the first touchdown, forcing the copilot to take control during the bounce.

Causes (translated from Spanish):
It is considered that the probable cause of the accident was a significant variation in the intensity and wind direction at the time of landing prompting a 4.11g vertical acceleration, however, with the weather information available, it could not be determined if there were objective conditions for the possibility of windshear during landing.
A contributing factor was the maneuver made by the aircraft, which is not consistent with a standard maneuver, since it there were variations in pitch, from 84 ft radio altimeter and a decrease of the plane relative to the ILS glide slope combined with the performance of autothrotle at idle and possible variations of wind in the final phase of landing which would place the aircraft on a path other than the nominal.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Report number: A-013/2005
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:


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