Accident Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia EC-GTJ, Monday 14 January 2002
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Date:Monday 14 January 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia
Owner/operator:Ibertrans Aérea
Registration: EC-GTJ
MSN: 120024
Year of manufacture:1986
Total airframe hrs:23578 hours
Cycles:29468 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:2 km SE of Zaldívar -   Spain
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD/LEMD)
Destination airport:Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB)
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight IBT1278 departed Madrid (MAD) at 06:35 for a flight to Bilbao (BIO), with 2873 kg of cargo on board. The aircraft climbed to its assigned cruising altitude of FL220, which was reached at 06:53. Permission to descend was given at 07:12 and at 07:23 the crew started an ILS approach to runway 30. Two minutes later the captain experienced control problems, which he attributed to an autopilot malfunction. An increase in the rate of descent went unnoticed by the crew who tried to find out the cause of the control problems. As the plane was descending over mountainous terrain, the GPWS alarm sounded three times. The approach controller then asked if the flight was established on the localizer and ILS glidepath. The copilot then replied that they had captured the localizer. Approach Control then instructed the crew to contact Bilbao Tower. Contact was not established however. The copilot noticed that they had not captured the glidepath and informed the captain. The airplane´s speed and rate of descent were reduced and a smooth climb was initiated. Six seconds later the airplane flew into the side of the Monte de Santa Marina, some 18 nm (33 km) from Bilbao Airport. The mountain has an altitude of 675 m (2215 ft).

CAUSAS: "El accidente se produjo por no mantener la aeronave una separación adecuada con el terreno cuando se realizaba la maniobra de aproximación al aeropuerto de destino, como consecuencia de haber focalizado la tripulación su atención en la desconexión del piloto automático . A partir del momento en que surgieron dificultades con los mandos de vuelo, la tripulación no realizó los procedimientos estándar de operación establecidos por el explotador de la aeronave."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Report number: A-003/2002
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years 1 month
Download report: Final report


Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil



photo (c) Marlo Plate; Barcelona Airport (BCN); 19 May 2001

photo (c) Pedro de la Cruz, via Werner Fischdick; Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI); January 2001

Revision history:


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