Binter Mediterráneo Flight 8261 (Registration EC-FBC), on 29 August 2001, crash-landed next to the N-340 highway, some 200 metres short of runway 32 at Ruiz Picasso International Airport at Málaga, Spain.
During the approach to runway 32 at Málaga, a warning light in the cockpit indicated a fire in the port engine. In fact, it was a false alarm, possibly caused by moisture and/or dirt in the circuitry, though the crew did not know this.
The captain continued the approach, while the co-pilot followed the emergency procedure for an engine fire. In the process, he erroneously activated the fire-handles for the right engine as well as the left, causing them both to stop.
The plane landed some 500 m (1,600 ft) short of the runway threshold and came to rest against the embankment of the N-340 motorway. The pilot did not communicate any information about the emergency in progress to the cabin crew, and consequently passengers were not instructed to assume the brace position prior to impact.
Four of the 47 people on board perished, including the captain. The aircraft was scrapped.
“It is considered that the cause of the accident was the incorrect execution, by the crew, of the emergency procedure of fire or serious damage in an engine contained in the Flight Operations Manual that was on board the aircraft, causing the consecutive stop of the two engines of the aircraft, with the consequent total loss of thrust, so that the progression of the flight was prevented.
The activation of the emergency procedure occurred as a result of a fire warning in the left engine that turned out to be false. The appearance of the false fire warning may have been caused by the presence of moisture and/or dirt on the connectors of the fire detector circuit.
It is considered that a contributing factor to these circumstances could have been the definition of maintenance tasks for this system in the aircraft Maintenance Manual, which did not conform to the methods recommended by the designer-manufacturer of the fire detection system in relation to avoiding the existence of humidity in the installation.
As factors that could have contributed to crew malfunction during the application of the emergency procedure, the following are considered:
– A lack of coordination in the piloting tasks, carried out in the absence of “Cabin Resource Management” criteria.
– Insufficient training for the change of pilot station received by the co-pilot, which did not include training in simulator of application of emergency procedures”.