Spanish investigators have yet to clarify the nature of an apparent technical problem which delayed yesterday's departure of the Spanair Boeing MD-82 which subsequently crashed at Madrid Barajas.


Flight JK5022 had a scheduled departure time of 13:00, and left the gate shortly afterwards, but the fatal take-off run occurred nearly two hours later. The crew is said to have postponed the departure over a technical matter, but this has not been confirmed.

 © PA Photos
Smoke billows up from the wreckage of Spanair's MD-82

Spanair says the 15-year old aircraft, in service with the Palma de Mallorca-based carrier for nine years, underwent an annual service on 24 January.

Only 19 of the 172 people on board the aircraft survived when it came off the runway and broke up at around 14:45.

Spanair has released a passenger manifest showing there were 162 passengers, six flight crew and four off-duty crew members on board the jet.

The crash site is towards the northern end of runway 36L - thought to be the departure runway, although this has yet to be confirmed. The runway extends north from the manoeuvring areas close to Barajas' Terminal 4 and 4S.

Neither has any firm information surfaced about the circumstances of the take-off, although there are persistent reports of problems with one of the MD-82's Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines.




Source: Flight International