Spanair crash prompts FAA best practices list

Washington DC
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The US Federal Aviation Administration has created a website to help carriers improve safety. The site directs airline officials to documents and studies the agency says can be considered best practices in the areas of checklist design, training, procedures, crew resource management and error trapping.

The action comes as a result of initial findings from the August 2008 crash of a Spanair Boeing MD-82 on take-off from Spain's Madrid Barajas International airport.

"This investigation in ongoing, but initial findings identify the need for safety improvements in carrier operations," says the FAA in an Information for Operators publication released in March. "Consolidation of the numerous resources which provide information and guidance on air carrier operations and procedures, including checklist design, facilitates the use of these resources."

spanair md-82 crash apa photos
 © APA photos

The investigation into the Spanair accident indicated that the pilots failed to carry out the required flap and slat position checks before departure. They are likely to have attempted to take off with the high-lift devices stowed.

The aircraft failed to gain lift and crashed off the departure end of the runway, killing 154 of the 172 passengers and crew on board.