Justice In America – The Spanair Flight #5022 Crash

On August 20, 2008, “Spanair, Flight 5022 crashed, killing 154 passengers and crew.

Experts with Spain’s Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission, (CIAIAC), began piecing together why Spanair flight #5022 failed to become airborne.

The central question faced by the inquiry was therefore simple…but baffling: how could two well-trained pilots, flying for a Star Alliance airline with a perfect safety record, simply forget to extend the flaps?

Unfortunately, this was far from the first time a crash like this had happened. In an almost identical incident in 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 255, another MD-82, crashed on takeoff from Detroit, Michigan, killing 154 of the 155 on board as well as two on the ground.

One year later, 14 people were killed when Delta Air Lines flight 1141, a Boeing 727, crashed on takeoff from Dallas, Texas for the exact same reason.

Similar crashes also befell a LAPA Boeing 737 in Buenos Aires in 1999, killing 65, and a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 in Medan, Indonesia, in 2005, killing 149. Now this same age-old error had claimed another 154 lives in Madrid.

The Forensic Evidence shows that the TOWS, or the Take-Off Warning System, “Failed to Warn”, and was a significant point failure from the Nose Gear sensor, wiring and connectors, to relay R2.5.

This vulnerability had actually been recognized 20 years earlier by McDonnell Douglas, the now-defunct manufacturer of the MD-80 series.

Following the 1987 crash of Northwest Airlines flight 255, in which the takeoff configuration warning horn also did not sound, McDonnell Douglas urged all MD-80 operators to conduct the TOWS check before every flight, not just the first flight of the day.

So, what’s so important about this “TOWS”, or “Take-Off Warning System” anyway?

Simple? Aircraft Engineers design aircraft to not only fly as safely as possible using state of the art technology, but they also figure in ‘common mistakes’ that pilots make to provide a ‘Backup Protection Plan’ just like the “Take-Off Warning System”, “TOWS” to prevent the potential loss of aircraft and/or life

The realistic truth is that pilots are human and were actually forgetting the flaps all the time, and the TOWS was regularly bailing them out. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this was that the TOWS is, in fact, a safety critical system which deserves to be held to a high standard of mechanical reliability.

Today for the first time ever on national TV, the Insider Exclusive, goes behind the headlines, in this special edition of the Insider Exclusive, “Justice in America – The Spanair Flight #5022 Disaster, on location in Beaumont, Texas, at the Brent Coon & Associates law firm, with Brent Coon, Founder, and M.P. “Pappy” Papadakis, Consulting Attorney, who is also a former Naval pilot, Delta Airlines Captain, and well-known Airline Accident Investigation Expert, that is representing the victims of this crash.

The evidence clearly shows that the true liable party in this tragic Spanair crash is Boeing and the direct cause of the crash was the defective design and manufacturing of the TOWS warning system.

Brent Coon & Associates law firm’s investigators have found that what conveniently seemed on the surface, to everyone else… to be a simple case of pilot error……actually revealed several known, systemic deficiencies which made the crash possible.

Many of these deficiencies had been identified after the two US crashes in 1987 and 1988, but while lessons had been learned in America, their application in Europe was spotty at best, leaving gaps in the safety net which could and should have been filled.

The evidence discovered by Brent Coon & Associates, as Brent and Pappy unequivocally show that:

Boeing knew that SPANAIR was using the improper checklist. Boeing knew that the checklists Spanair was using were identical or substantially similar to the defective NWA 255 crashed checklist.

Boeing remained silent about this operational error. Boeing instead gave Spanair high grades in its operation of Checklists and in its Cockpit Resource Management,

Boeing conducted this training and operational audit in November, 2007, just 8 months before this tragic accident. Boeing safety- training- expert observed Spanair training sessions in simulators as well as in actual cockpit LOSA observer flights.

In this two week audit the Boeing safety/training person observed operational cockpit line flights as well as simulator flights in both MD-80 series and B717 aircraft. Boeing failed to warn Spanair of the deficient checklists and procedures.

Boeing failed to fix the MD-80 series defects which were known since 1988, because they said it was impossible. They failed to retrofit any fixes that would have complied with the NTSB recommendations.

But a former Northwest Airlines, (NWA), Master Avionics Chief and Instructor, Mr. Rodney Peters is ready to testify in court:

He designed, manufactured, and installed a fix for NWA’s (7) MD-82s.

The defect was fixed inexpensively, quickly, and reliably. No other airline fixed their aircraft.

And Spainair’s lawyers suppressed this ‘Safety Fix’ evidence.

Brent and Pappy will also explain the legal challenges in trying this case:

The Manufacturer has changed its name through Business Mergers from DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT to MCDONNELL DOUGLAS to BOEING. This case is ready to go to trial in Madrid, Spain in January 2024, utilizing Spanish courts and presumably Spanish Law, exactly 37 years after NWA 255 crashed and 16 years after Spanair crashed.

At this time, MD-80s have been retired from service in much of the world, and few airlines equipped with early-generation takeoff warning systems remain.

Today, the crash of Spanair flight 5022 holds several important qualifiers which give it enduring significance. It remains, the last fatal crash of an airliner in Spain; the last crash of an airliner due to failure to deploy the flaps; and the last fatal crash of a passenger jet in the European Union.

Brent and Pappy have earned reputations as unyielding trial lawyers who repeatedly represent individuals and families against big companies and the Goliaths of the world. And repeatedly win.

The lessons learned from the Spanair Flight #5022 Crash are a testament to the excellent investigative work that the Brent Coon Law firm performs and continues to do so each and every day.

They are dedicated to uncovering the hidden catastrophic factors that put our fellow citizens at risk and wreak havoc on an important sector of our economy.

Please contact Brent Coon & Associates https://www.bcoonlaw.com/ 409 242 5527 & 281 324 0399 for additional information.