Madrid – The crew was at fault in the August 2008 crash of a Spanair MD-82 airliner in the vicinity of Madrid's Barajas International Airport that left 154 people dead, a Spanish government panel said in a report issued Friday.
The crew lost control of the aircraft right after takeoff from Barajas "because of not configuring the plane correctly" or setting the flaps as they should have, the Ciaiac commission found.
In the causes section, the report says that the airliner's crew did not detect the configuration error nor "noted the loss-of-functionality warnings nor corrected that situation after takeoff."
It also says that among the accident's contributing factors was the absence of a warning about the incorrect configuration because the Take-Off Warning System, or TOWS, was not working.
The commission believes that the crew did not operated the flaps with the right controls, nor made a crosscheck of the position of the control stick or of the lights indicating the state of those two elements.
Though the TOWS was out of order, the report speaks of the "inadequate handling" of the controls by the crew.
In light of the accident analysis, the commission recommended modification of the Flight Manual linked to the aircraft's Type Certification to include opportune instructions relative to checking the TOWS.
The crashed plane had come from Barcelona and after its stopover in Madrid was headed for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
The Aug. 20, 2008, crash was Spain's worst air disaster in 25 years.