View Full Version : Air Nostrum F-50 runway overrun at Mellila

18th Jan 2003, 14:48
Passenger jet makes rough landing at Melilla airport
Fri Jan 17, 8:38 AM ET

MADRID, Spain - A passenger plane carrying 17 people overshot the runway at the Melilla airport in the Spanish enclave of the North African coast while landing on Friday, crashing into a fence and alarming passengers.
Nine people, including a pregnant woman, were reported to be slightly injured and taken to the city's hospital, said Antonio Ramirez, spokesman of the Interior Ministry in Melilla. Most of the injured were treated for contusions and nervous breakdowns, Ramirez said.
The nationalities of the injured were not immediatly released

The plane, a Fokker 50 owned by Air Nostrum, was attempting to land after flying from Malaga when it overran the runway and ended up crashing into the airport's perimeter fence next to a highway that surrounds the airport.
As of result of the emergency landing, the plane broke in two, Ramirez said.

The accident forced the closure of the highway but the airport remained operative, said Miguel Marin, director of the Melilla airport.
The airline said the cause of the accident had not been determined. Air Nostrum is a former subsidiary of the national airline, Iberia.

The Melilla-Malaga route has had three plane incidents in recent years resulting in 42 deaths.

18th Jan 2003, 20:09
Quote: The Melilla-Malaga route has had three plane incidents in recent years resulting in 42 deaths.

How long is 'recent years'?
Where there any common factors in the 3 past accidents?
Who else operates on the route and with what else?

18th Jan 2003, 21:30

the F50 is owned by a dutch wet-lease specialist called "Denim Air" They used to be a subsidairie of Airnostrum but are now under dutch management and ownership (again)

Critical Mach#
18th Jan 2003, 22:33
Recent years is within the past 2 and a half years

No common factors:
The first one was a BA146 operated by Pauknair,wet lease Panair (TNT Spain), during approach in marginal Wx conditions. All Pax and crew died.

Second one a Binter Mediterraneo (Iberia subsidiary) CN235 during final approach in AGP. One Eng out during short final and did not make the runway. Incident under investigation. This is not a proper melilla incident but press refer to it as it actually happened in Melilla.

At the present time just AirNostrum operates the Malaga Melilla route with IB colours and callsign (and fares...).


18th Jan 2003, 22:51
17jan03 PH-FZE Fokker 50 20182 Denim Air/Air Nostrum/Iberia Regional w/o ex EC-HUB IB 8276 In daylight and good weather, the aircraft overran the end of the runway during landing. Before coming to a stop, the Fokker crossed the airport fence and ran over rough, downsloping terrain. A wing was broken and a small fire errupted. It is believed the aircraft will be considered a write-off. Melillas runway 15/33 is only 1.340 m in lengh

19th Jan 2003, 00:29
<<It is believed the aircraft will be considered a right off>> A good understatement, if ever there was one, particularly when you see the picture:


19th Jan 2003, 07:29
Any info on why they overran the runway ?

20th Jan 2003, 11:02
Maybe they had too many beers the night before?

According to Spanish newspapers both the Commander and the Co-pilot had alcohol (0,3 at the time of the test at the hospital) and signs of drugs (cocaine) in their blood. Definitely not in line with JAR-OPS 1.085.

Tragically enough the other accident with the BAe 146 shows some similarity as the Commander had 0,41 of alcohol in his blood at the time of the autopsy. Ironically it was his last day flying for the company, Pauknair, as he was to start for another major carrier. At least it said so in a Spanish aviation magazine.

Now please do not be sarcastic about Spanish operators and their pilots drinking habits. In this last case it was a dutch registered aircraft operating under a dutch AOC with a dutch Commander and a Canadian Co-pilot and recently it has happened to other European operators.

For those who understand spanish:


20th Jan 2003, 11:09
It has also been reported that the Spanish pilots don't like to have foreigners flying there. And apparently, AN are going after the newspaper for libel. So who gave the story to the press and is it based on fact?

Until official results of the investigation are made public, nobody can be sure of the facts as they are reported. But we already know that, don't we?:)

20th Jan 2003, 11:24
13.000+ hour Canadian Capt and new Dutch F/o

20th Jan 2003, 15:25
hospital seems to have mixed up nano- and milli-grams on bloodtest results....

lord melchett
20th Jan 2003, 17:25
Fading memories.......only IAP for MLN is/was NDB/DME cloudbreak which took you 8-10 miles out to sea before turning back in again towards the A/D at right angles to the runway. Some of the locals couldnt be bothered with all this and designed their own let downs using VORs on the Spanish mainland eg MGA, AMR etc which are about 100 miles away or more!. The story at the time (1997?) was that the Paulknair was doing a DIY let-down but lost the plot and flew in to a cove with rising headland whilst trying to stay VMC with the ocean. Was interesting to be on the ground watching a Casa break cloud from a direction where you would least expect! Usually the wx was Cavok but straight in to R/W 15 could still be tricky due to steep profile required to miss high ground and a downsloping R/W. Add to that packs of wild dogs running across the A/D from time to time and the odd local running across the runway made for an entertaining time.

21st Jan 2003, 15:35
I think that the fake wilber burroughs is just trying to cause damage to the healthy, professional relationship between Spanish and foreign pilots working in the same environment. I fly for Denim Air and respect my Spanish colleagues, whether they fly for Air Nostrum, Iberia, Spanair or fly for cargo and general aviation companies. I certainly don’t treat them like trash and neither do they treat me like trash. After the recent management buy-out by Denim Air (which was a win-win situation for both parties) Air Nostrum management has clearly stated in a newsletter to their own staff that it was because of the flexibility and low operating costs of Denim Air that Air Nostrum was able to expand so rapidly especially in times of crisis (ANS management quote: “Denim Air has been and will be our source of flexibility which helped us get through a growth crisis when many abandoned our project and are now helping us to resolve the crisis in this sector”). Denim Air is a wetlease (ACMI) capacity provider, which means we help out other companies by not only providing them with crew, but also with our own aircraft. I really do feel sorry for the 300 Spanish experienced ATPL line captains without a job, but we are NOT taking your jobs! We are operating our own aircraft for Air Nostrum to help them out and help them to expand so they are able to hire these pilots in the future. It would be a different story if these 300 pilots had their own regional aircraft, but unfortunately they don’t. There are also lots of major financial/tax advantages that benefited Air Nostrum via all sorts of constructions with Denim Air (e.g. by phasing-in the new Dash 8’s via Denim Air, Air Nostrum was able to get back some of the taxes on these aircraft in a few weeks time, in stead of the year-and-a-half or longer it takes them in Spain). And for your information: we also have several Spanish captains and first officers working at Denim Air on a permanent contract, who could not get a job in Spain in the first place! Some of them were working all over the world, being away from Spain and their family/relatives for up to 10 years. Thanks to Denim Air/Air Nostrum they are now living in Spain again. It’s funny that I haven’t heard anybody in Holland complaining about these Spanish pilots stealing jobs from Dutch pilots! Must be a culture difference!

Now to come back on the Melilla-accident. It seems that a reporter who started this ridiculous story about the drugs and alcohol found in the blood of the pilots has interpreted the amounts (on purpose?) as being in milligrams (1/1,000th of a gram), in stead of nanograms (1/1,000,000,000th of a gram), which was the correct amount they had in their blood! This is about the same amount a newborn baby has in its blood!!! Air Nostrum already has its legal department standing by to take corrective action against the false accusations by the media, as soon as the official report has been published.

Denim Air has been operating about 30.000 flights per year for Air Nostrum over the last 5 years and has been flying to Melilla more than 7 times a day during the last year. Because Denim Air relies on contracts from other airlines, it meets the highest quality requirements regarding execution of flights, crew training and maintenance of its aircraft. We Denim Air pilots know our colleagues and their professionalism and trust that the outcome of the investigation will clear their name and deliver a hard slap in the face of all those pathetic people who, being frustrated with their own situation, just couldn’t wait to point their finger at our colleagues before knowing the REAL FACTS!!!

Hasta LogoLight!

Commandante Kebab

21st Jan 2003, 16:26
Well Kebab this is well spoken.

Hope situation gets clearified soon.

Good luck to you guys !

Robert Vesco
21st Jan 2003, 19:05
Indeed well spoken Commandante Kebab !!

Instead of constructive critisism, it´s really sad to see some ´aviation professionals´ trying to exploit a crash and turn it into a personal vendetta, while leaking blatant lies to tabloid newspapers.

Unfortunately it´s not unique to Spain, as here in Switzerland we continue to see the same pathetic behaviour. :(

23rd Jan 2003, 08:41
As an observation, the reputation of Spanish aviation would be greatly helped if the investigating authorities were in the practice of publishing full accident reports in a remotely timely manner. Unfortunately too many Spanish accidents remain mysteries to the rest of the world forever. Even some third world countries do better than that these days, and so do some previously paranoid Oriental states.

Aviation Trainer too
23rd Jan 2003, 08:59
Well spoken Cpt Kebab.

Dear Wilber Burroughs one of the joys of aviation is that it is an international affair, there are Spanish registered Emb 120s, A300s etc flying in other European countries, should they all be banned? If you know the market correctly you will find that Spain has one of the lowest no's of Atpl's sitting at home as they are welcome to fly with most EU airlines no problems. The Spainish market on the other hand has always been closed.

The benefit of airlines operating within other countries is that the national authorithies are forced to look at the best solution rather than on the historical solutions!

Safety is learning from your mistakes and of others and the best way is to look at what is happening Europe wide rather than country wide.

23rd Jan 2003, 11:42
I see that SEPLA have now got involved calling for alcohol/drugs tests on all non Spanish pilots flying in Spain.....It would be funny if it wasn't against EU law.

wilber burroughs
23rd Jan 2003, 14:16
capt.kebab is wrong. You are all wrong.
I, amongst others suitably qualified to fly F 50´s have consistently been turned down and mis-lead by West Air,New Air, Denim Air, etc. with promises of employment.
Protectionism, obviously.
I dont care to publish my personal qualifications but believe me, I have more than enough experience, as do my colleagues.
There are non-spanish pilots in Spain, so thats also baloney.
I see I have been censored by the moderator and all of a sudden I cannot post a reply, but if this happens to "allowed in " then take note capt.kebab that I dont appreciate being referred to as " pathetic " and if you want, you can leave me your private e-mail and we can sort it out.
I doubt you will.

23rd Jan 2003, 14:55
Wilber, grow up.

Check this (http://www.lanuevaespana.es/periodico28octubre/PG032SUC281.htm) out.

Sure, you guys in spain are soooooo cool.......................:mad:

23rd Jan 2003, 18:27
A good understatement, if ever there was one

Here is an ever better understatement:

... crashing into a fence and alarming passengers

I would say they were alarmed! :)

23rd Jan 2003, 20:25
The article has long been banished as complete rubbish.

Then why is Denimair criticised publicly, newspapers, tv etc throughout spain? Even the president of the sepla made conclusions before even 1 investigation was even started!!!??

Anyway, the whole thread of the accident has been mis-managed

explain us...

seat 0A
24th Jan 2003, 06:55
Today`s Telegraaf, the biggest Dutch newspaper, reports that neither of the pilots had used alcohol, nor drugs. The courts in Melilla have decided not to prosecute.
Good luck with your recovery from this incident, guys!

Johnny F@rt Pants
24th Jan 2003, 09:27
Wilber - As you correctly say "it's a free world", that's why other Europeans can work in Spain, and of course you can work elsewhere so stop moaning about foreigners doing work in Spain. Referring to the other airlines that you say you have tried to join, well I cannot comment on most however I am employed by West Air, I am English and live in England, there are several Spanish pilots working for us along with South Africans, New Zealanders, Belgians etc, so I really don't think you have a clue regarding their employment policy, I think the main reason you didn't get hired is that you didn't have a rating and there are many who did. Get over it, we all try to move to other jobs from time to time and we don't make an issue of it if we are rejected. I think you will find that there are many more than 300 pilots unemployed in the UK whilst other nationalities are working and wet leasing there, we live in an open European market and we have to make the best of it.

24th Jan 2003, 10:33
And I know it's hard to believe, but even in the Netherlands there are some pilots, qualified to fly because they have a valid license, without jobs. :eek:


24th Jan 2003, 11:27
Press Release
To : : E-mail :
From : Denim Air
Date : 24 January 2003

Subject : Pilots innocent

Denim Air pilots not under influence during incident with one of our 14 aircraft.

Just like the initial investigation before, also the results of second opinion tests (on blood, urine and hair-samples), clearly prove that the Denim Air pilots were not under influence of alcohol (or any other substance) during the incident last week. The Denim Air management is pleased that also this investigation now clears her pilots.

Articles in the press suggesting that the pilots were under influence, were based merely on the incorrect interpretation of laboratory results by a local newspaper correspondent.

24th Jan 2003, 13:25
So, its a situation that irritates us more when canadians and dutch pilots screw up taking drugs whilst taking our damn jobs.

I think it's time Wilber starts eating his words?

Heard rumors that the reverse propellor thrust on the a/c wasn't working properly?

24th Jan 2003, 15:53

Everybody calm down here, starting with Mr Wilber (I know who you are and have nothing against you. You are from Orange, Texas - correct me if I am wrong). I think Mr Wilber should make a bigger aplogy than the simple line in one of his messages, regarding the fact of foreigners working in Spain, specially when he is an American born and raised... working in Spain!

I am an ANS Spanish f/o and definetely Denim Air has done a very good job with us, so thank you all DNM employees. I am also glad to hear about the new results on blood samples, totally clearing the crew.

It appears that the power levers did not go into Ground Idle during the landing, and the F50 has a tendency to slightly accelerate when this happens o/g, for what I have heard so far.

Cheers to all

24th Jan 2003, 16:57
Wilber will doubtless be most interested in what has gone out under his name:confused:

wilber burroughs
24th Jan 2003, 17:25
In the DenimAir Melilla F50 thread my name has been used by a friend that is no longer my friend to revindicate and criticize the issues surrounding the incident, and apparently caused a stir.
I cant sya much except that dont ever leave your pc to just anybody, even close friends, but I think I owe an explanation to you all. I ve read all the stuff and some things are beteter just left alone. Like i said before, is there a way i can apologize ?

24th Jan 2003, 20:14
This flying under the influence "news" has been frontpage here in Malaga. Every news paper, radio and tv news show has been telling how these foreigners are flying Spanish people popped out of their minds. Every farmer and goat herder in Antequera to Zaragoza nows about this and is convinced that it is the holy truth. My neighbours came to ask me if I knew these Pilotos de drogas. They have never been in an airport let alone in an airplane and said that they would never fly after this. Oh well.

I sure hope that the "Journo" and the newspaper be sued and fried for this. The damage caused by this can be quite great.

Proves once again how much power Journalists hold with their seek of sensation and sales.

25th Jan 2003, 15:10
Heard rumors that the reverse propellor thrust on the a/c wasn't working properly?

Reference this accident and earlier LUX accident to F-50. Does F-50 have a prop-reverse range or just ground-fine like the F-27, Viscount etc?

Has there been any word from the surviving LUX pilot about the cause of that accident? (throttles slipping into the G/F range airborne etc). I recall that there was some discussion of AD's existing and cautioning Fokker pilots about this possibility.

Sick Squid
25th Jan 2003, 15:37
The Wilbur Burroughs posts and most of the subsequent flame war have been removed. That part of the thread is now closed, so no more references to it please.

Now, back to the topic at hand....

Sick Squid
Reporting Points Moderator

25th Jan 2003, 23:32
The F50 has an electronic engine system, on take off the power levers are moved into a "gate" where they stay, climb power, MCT, go-around power etc are selected on the ERP (engine rating panel). During decent and landing the power levers are moved out of the detent (gate) and operated manually, in theory they cannot be moved past flight idle until a weight on wheels switch activates a solenoid, after which ground idle and reverse can be selected. There are no prop levers on the F50, the props are managed electronically by the PEC (prop electronic control) system. Also after landing the weight on wheels switch commands the ERP to select Go- around power in case of a missed approach, this is normally not a problem as the pilot would normally have selected ground idle by this point, if however the solenoid sticks as has happened before, the aircraft could accelerate!! If this happens the procedure is to feather the affected engine by closing the fuel lever, but this is alot to ask of a pilot already concentrating on a short field landing, by the time you realise what has happened it is too late.

I believe in the case of the luxair F50 this solenoid had stuck open allowing the power levers to be moved into ground idle while airborne with disasterous concequences, this is yet to be confirmed by the investigating authorities.

Hope this helps, Regards......

A/P Disc
15th Feb 2003, 10:55
It was officially stated 2 days ago by the Dutch goverment that
neither alcohol or drugs were found in the blood of the two
pilots. Well that's was a nice press job in Spain after the accident