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P46T, vicinity Son Bonet Palma de Mallorca Spain, 2002

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Summary
On 19 December 2002, a Piper PA-46 Malibu, after takeoff from Son Bonet Aerodrome, penetrated the control zone (CTR) of Palma de Mallorca tower. The pilot was instructed to leave the CTR and the aircraft headed towards mountainous terrain to the north of the island where the flight conditions were below the VFR minimum. In level flight the aircraft impacted terrain at an altitude of 2000 ft killing all three occupants.
Event Details
When December 2002
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Airspace Infringement, Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), Human Factors
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions IMC
Flight Details
Aircraft PIPER PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian
Operator Private
Type of Flight Private
Origin Son Bonet Aerodrome
Intended Destination Sabadell Airport
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Cruise
ENR
Location - Airport
Airport vicinity Son Bonet Aerodrome
AI
Tag(s) CA Incursion
CFIT
Tag(s) Into terrain,
No Visual Reference,
VFR flight plan
HF
Tag(s) Distraction,
Ineffective Monitoring,
Manual Handling,
Spatial Disorientation
Outcome
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Hull loss
Fatalities Most or all occupants (3)
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) None Made
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 19 December 2002, a Piper PA-46 Malibu, after takeoff from Son Bonet Aerodrome, penetrated the control zone (CTR) of Palma de Mallorca tower. The pilot was instructed to leave the CTR and the aircraft headed towards mountainous terrain to the north of the island where the flight conditions were below the VFR minimum. In level flight the aircraft impacted terrain at an altitude of 2000 ft killing all three occupants.

Synopis

The following is an extract from the official accident Report published by Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil (CIAIAC) Spain:

“The weather conditions in Son Bonet were within the limits of Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC).

After takeoff from Son Bonet, the aircraft penetrated some miles into the takeoff area of runway 06 L and R at Palma de Mallorca and was urgently requested by Control [tower] to head north and leave the area because at that moment a commercial passenger flight was taking off.

The aircraft’s flight continued five or six minutes in a northerly direction, penetrating a mountainous area on the island […]. That day some of the mountain peaks were covered by clouds.

[…] The aircraft in horizontal flight crashed into a steep SE facing mountain cliff.”

Further in the Flight Preparation section, the Report states:

“Before takeoff, the pilot was informed of the weather conditions at his destination and in two alternated aerodromes but the person who attended him was surprised by his self-reliant attitude and the fact that he did not request information on the departure aerodrome because, as he indicated, he was there and could see the weather.

Possibly the flying preparation did not include complete information on VFR procedures, orography and maps of the area, the meteorology [meteorological conditions] in the different TMA departure routes and ATC-transponder […].

The pilot completed a flight plan [FP], which he communicated to Palma Operations via the computer terminal in Son Bonet. The FP did not indicate the route he planned to take.”

According the Report the cause of the accident is given as:

  • “It is believed that the accident occurred as a result of the marginal VMC conditions which exist in the area where the aircraft was flying under VFR rules.
  • The aircraft entered this area possibly due to the pilot’s disorientation and inadequate preparation and execution of the flight.”

No Safety Recommendations are given in the Report.

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Further Reading

For further information see the full accident report published by CIAIAC Spain.