Lista nagłych zgonów: Stefan M. Kuryłowicz, Jacek P. Syropolski. 20110606

Report

A-015/2011

Accident involving a CIRRUS SR-22, registration

SP-AVD, on the extension of runway 29

at the Asturias airport, on 6 June 2011

015

 

CIAIAC

Report

A-015/2011

Accident involving

a CIRRUS SR-22,

registration SP-AVD,

on the extension of runway 29

at the Asturias airport,

on 6 June 2011

Report

A-015/2011

Accident involving a CIRRUS SR-22, registration

SP-AVD, on the extension of runway 29

at the Asturias airport, on 6 June 2011

COMISIÓN DE INVESTIGACIÓN

DE ACCIDENTES E INCIDENTES

DE AVIACIÓN CIVIL

SUBSECRETARÍA

Edita: Centro de Publicaciones

Secretaría General Técnica

Ministerio de Fomento ©

NIPO: 161-12-096-9

Depósito legal: M. 23.129-2003

Diseño y maquetación: Phoenix comunicación gráfica, S. L.

COMISIÓN DE INVESTIGACIÓN DE ACCIDENTES E INCIDENTES DE AVIACIÓN CIVIL

Tel.: +34 91 597 89 63 E-mail: ciaiac@fomento.es C/ Fruela, 6

Fax: +34 91 463 55 35 http://www.ciaiac.es 28011 Madrid (España)

Foreword

This report is a technical document that reflects the point of view of the Civil

Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission (CIAIAC) regarding

the circumstances of the accident object of the investigation, and its

probable causes and consequences.

In accordance with the provisions in Article 5.4.1 of Annex 13 of the

International Civil Aviation Convention; and with articles 5.5 of Regulation

(UE) n° 996/2010, of the European Parliament and the Council, of 20

October 2010; Article 15 of Law 21/2003 on Air Safety and articles 1, 4 and

21.2 of Regulation 389/1998, this investigation is exclusively of a technical

nature, and its objective is the prevention of future civil aviation accidents

and incidents by issuing, if necessary, safety recommendations to prevent

from their reoccurrence. The investigation is not pointed to establish blame

or liability whatsoever, and it’s not prejudging the possible decision taken by

the judicial authorities. Therefore, and according to above norms and

regulations, the investigation was carried out using procedures not

necessarily subject to the guarantees and rights usually used for the

evidences in a judicial process.

Consequently, any use of this report for purposes other than that of

preventing future accidents may lead to erroneous conclusions or

interpretations.

This report was originally issued in Spanish. This English translation is

provided for information purposes only.

Table of contents

Abbreviations

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.vi

Synopsis

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ix

1. Factual information

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

1.1. History of the flight ………………………………………………………………………………………..

… 1

1.2. Injuries to persons ………………………………………………………………………………………….

… 2

1.3. Damage to aircraft …………………………………………………………………………………………..

.2

1.4. Other damage ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

.. 2

1.5. Personnel information ………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

1.6. Aircraft information …………………………………………………………………………………………

.. 3

1.6.1. General information ……………………………………………………………………………… 3

1.6.2. Information from flight manual ………………………………………………………………. 3

1.6.3. Devices to aid with piloting and navigation ……………………………………………… 4

1.6.4. Cirrus Airframe Parachute System – CAPS ……………………………………………….. 4

1.7. Meteorological information ……………………………………………………………………………….. 5

1.8. Aids to navigation …………………………………………………………………………………………..

.. 7

1.9. Communications ………………………………………………………………………………………………

7

1.10. Aerodrome information …………………………………………………………………………………….. 10

1.11. Flight recorders ……………………………………………………………………………………………

….. 12

1.12. Wreckage and impact information ……………………………………………………………………… 15

1.13. Medical and pathological information …………………………………………………………………. 16

1.14. Survival aspects ……………………………………………………………………………………………

….. 17

1.15. Organizational and management information ………………………………………………………. 18

1.15.1. Control services ………………………………………………………………………………….. 18

1.15.2. Airport services …………………………………………………………………………………… 19

2. Analysis

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21

2.1. History of the operation ……………………………………………………………………………………. 2

1

2.2. ATS performance aspects ………………………………………………………………………………….. 22

3. Conclusions

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25

3.1. Findings ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

…….. 25

3.2. Causes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……. 25

4. Safety recommendations

………………………………………………………………………………………… 27

Appendices

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29

Appendix A. SCAAI Comments …………………………………………………………………………………. 31

Appendix B. Graphs of the final minutes of the flight taken from the MFD ……………………. 35

Appendix C. Graphs of the final minutes of the flight taken from the PFD ……………………… 39

Report A-015/2011

v

Abbreviations

00°

Degrees of latitude/longitude

00 °C

Degrees centigrade

ACC

Air Control Center

AEMET Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (National Weather Office)

AENA

Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea

AGL

Above Ground Level

AMSL

Above Mean Sea Level

APCH

Approach

ATC

Air Traffic Control

ATS

Air Traffic Service

CAPS

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System

CHT

Cylinders Head Temperature

CIAIAC Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil

CTR

Control Traffic Region

EGT

Exhaust Gas Temperature

ELT

Emergency Locator Transmitter

ft

Feet

GPS

Ground Proximity Sensor

h

Hour(s)

“Hg

Inches of Mercury

hPa

Hectopascal(s)

IAS

Indicated Air Speed

ICAO

International Civil Aviation Organization

IFR

Instrument Flight Rules

ILS

Instrument Landing System

IMC

Instrument Meteorological Conditions

KIAS

Knots Indicated Air Speed

km

Kilometer(s)

kt

Knot(s)

L

Liter(s)

l/h

Liters per hour

LEAS

ICAO location indicator for the Asturias Airport

LEBB

ICAO location indicator for the Bilbao Airport

LCA

Localizer Critical Area del ILS

LECO

ICAO location indicator for the La Coruña Airport

LESO

ICAO location indicator for the San Sebastian Airport

LEXJ

ICAO location indicator for the Santander Airport

LPVL

ICAO location indicator for the Maia (Portugal) Airport

LSA

Loss of Situational Awareness

LVP

Low Visibility Procedure

m

Meter(s)

m

2

Square meters

mb Millibar(s)

MCP Main Command Post

METAR METeorological Aerodrome Report

MFD Multifunction Display

MHz Megahertz

N North

NE North-East

PFD Primary Flight Display

PPL(A) Private Pilot License (Airplane)

QNH Barometric pressure adjusted to sea level

rpm Revolutions per minute

RVR Runway Visual Range

vi

Report A-015/2011

Abbreviations

SAR

Search and Rescue

SCAAI

State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation (Poland)

TDZ

Touchdown Zone

TMA

Terminal Area

UTC

Coordinated Universal Time

VFR

Visual Flight Rules

W

West

vii

Report A-015/2011

Ix

 

Report A-015/2011

 

Synopsis

Owner and operator: Private

Aircraft:

CIRRUS SR-22

Date and time of accident: 6 June 2011; 14:00 h (local time)

1

Site of accident:

Extension of runway 29 at the Asturias Airport

Persons onboard and injuries: Two (2) (pilot and passenger), both killed

Type of flight:

General Aviation – Private

Date of approval:

19 September 2012

Summary of accident

The CIRRUS SR22 aircraft, registration SP-AVD, had left the San Sebastian Airport (LESO)

at 12:24 en route to the Maia Airport (LPVL), located in Vilar da Luz (Portugal).

According to the flight plan filed at the departure airport, the flight was to be

conducted under visual flight rules (VFR) using the coast as a reference. The alternate

aerodromes listed were Santander (LEXJ) and La Coruña (LECO).

Flying with the CIRRUS SR22 were two CESSNA 182 aircraft, registrations SP-CFM and

SP-CUT, following behind the CIRRUS in the order listed.

At 13:51, aircraft SP-AVD was in the vicinity of the Asturias Airport (LEAS). The

controllers on duty at the airport tower established contact with the pilot to warn him

of the low visibility conditions that existed at the airport.

2

At 14:00, they tried to establish contact once more but received no reply from the pilot.

Twenty minutes later, SAR (Search and Rescue) reported to the tower that an emergency

locator transmitter (ELT) signal had been received from coordinates 43° 33’ 55.38” N –

6° 3’ 7.98” W corresponding to airplane SP-AVD. Tower personnel then notified

emergency services, which activated rescue teams, including two helicopters.

At 15:08, one of the helicopters sighted aircraft SP-AVD on Bayas Mountain, 450 m

southwest of the runway 11 threshold. A rescue team was lowered to the crash site

1

Unless otherwise indicated, all times in this report are local. To obtain UTC, subtract two hours from local time.

2

Low visibility procedures (LVP) were in effect at the airport from 8:38 until 18:10.

Report A-015/2011

x

and confirmed the death of both occupants, who were removed from the aircraft and

taken to the airport.

The investigation concluded that the accident resulted from the pilot entering IMC

conditions without being qualified to fly in IFR conditions, as a consequence of which

the pilot lost all situational awareness due to the absence of external references.

The investigation revealed that the pilot deployed the emergency parachute at an

altitude that was too low to have any effect. As a result, the aircraft fell out of control

in a left downward spiral.

 

 

1

Report A-015/2011

1. FACTUAL INFORMATION

1.1. History of the flight

The CIRRUS SR22 aircraft, registration SP-AVD, had taken off from the San Sebastian

Airport (LESO) at 12:24 en route to the Maia Airport (LPVL), located in Vilar da Luz

(Portugal).

According to the flight plan filed at the departure airport, the flight was to be

conducted under visual flight rules (VFR) using the coast as a reference. The alternate

aerodromes listed were Santander (LEXJ) and La Coruña (LECO).

Flying with the CIRRUS SR22 were two CESSNA 182 aircraft, registrations SP-CFM and

SP-CUT, following behind the CIRRUS in the order listed. Only aircraft SP-CFM had filed

a flight plan.

At 13:51, aircraft SP-AVD was in the vicinity of the Asturias Airport (LEAS).

The controllers on duty at the airport tower established contact with the pilot to warn

him of the low visibility conditions that existed at the airport.

Low visibility procedures (LVP) were in effect at the airport from 8:38 until 18:10 due

to the meteorological conditions (fog) that existed.

At 13:59, the tower reported the low visibility conditions in effect at the airport to one

of the companion aircraft, SP-CFM.

One minute later, at 14:00, the control tower attempted to contact the two aircraft

again, first SP-AVD and then SP-CFM, but it did not receive a reply from the crew of

either airplane.

At 14:18, the SAR service informed the control tower that the ELT on aircraft

SP-AVD was transmitting from coordinates 43° 33’ 55.38” N – 6° 3’ 7.98” W. Rescue

teams were immediately activated, including two helicopters from the firefighting

service.

At 15:08, one of the helicopters sighted aircraft SP-AVD on Bayas Mountain, some

450 m to the southwest of the runway 11 threshold. A rescue team was lowered to

the crash site and confirmed the death of the two occupants, who were trapped in

the wreckage.

Moments later both bodies were recovered and taken by helicopter to the airport.

 

 

 

1.2. Injuries to persons

Injuries

Crew

Passengers Total in the aircraft Others

F

a

t

a

l

112

Serious

Minor

Not applicable

None

Not applicable

TOTAL

1

1

2

1.3. Damage to aircraft

The aircraft was destroyed on impact. The front part, which housed the engine and

cockpit, was badly damaged.

1.4. Other damage

As the aircraft descended to the impact point, it hit the tops of several eucalyptus trees.

There was damage to trees in a 10-meter radius around the crash site.

Figure 1.

Aerial view of accident site

Report A-015/2011

3

1.5. Personnel information

The pilot, age 62, had a private pilot license (PPL(A)) and a linguistic competency

certificate, both of them valid and issued by the Polish aviation authority.

He had 950 h of flying time, 130 of which had been on the type.

1.6. Aircraft information

1.6.1.

General information

The CIRRUS SR-22 is a low-wing, piston engine airplane made from composite materials

that can hold four occupants.

The serial number of the accident aircraft was 3365 and it was outfitted with a Teledyne

Continental IO-550N engine and a three-blade constant-speed PHC-J3YF propeller. It

had a valid airworthiness certificate issued by the Polish aviation authority and it has

passed all of its maintenance inspections.

The aircraft was equipped for instrument flight.

1.6.2.

Information from flight manual

According to the airplane’s flight manual, if a pilot not rated for instrument flight

encounters IMC, the autopilot must be engaged and a 180° turn executed to exit said

conditions. The immediate actions call for establishing straight and level flight, engaging

the autopilot to maintain course and altitude and initiating a 180° turn.

The emergency procedures section of the airplane’s flight manual describes what to do

if the airplane inadvertently starts to spin while flying in IMC. In all cases the CAPS must

be immediately deployed if the airplane adopts an unusual attitude from which recovery

is not assured. The following steps must be followed to recover from the spin:

• Place the thrust lever in idle.

• Stop the spin through the coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder.

• Exert pressure on the controls to maintain flight attitude.

• Adjust the controls to maintain flight level.

• Set the throttle lever as required.

• If the autopilot is engaged, keep hands away from the controls to maintain a constant

heading.

• Exit IMC conditions as soon as possible.

1.6.3.

Devices to aid with piloting and navigation

The CIRRUS SR-22 airplane featured a primary flight display (PFD) that provided attitude,

heading, speed, vertical speed and altimeter indications. It also had a heading indicator

gauge. The PFD system also shared information with GPS and navigation devices, as well

as with the autopilot.

The airplane also had a multifunction display (MFD), which has inputs from a variety

of sources, including the GPS sensors, and shows useful navigational information to

the pilot on a screen that displays an icon representing the airplane atop a moving

map. The MFD can also display a pre-loaded flight plan, normal and emergency

checklists, and it can keep track of performance and navigation data, as well as ground

speed.

The flight manual warns that the MFD must not be used as the main navigational

instrument, and that it is only intended as an aid when flying in VFR conditions.

1.6.4.

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System – CAPS

This model was equipped with an aircraft parachute system that is designed to lower it

to the ground in certain emergency conditions, such as in-flight collisions, structural

failures, forced landings in rough terrain, pilot incapacitation or loss of control. The

airplane manual warns that the system is designed to save the lives of the occupants,

but that it most likely will not prevent the destruction of the aircraft. In adverse

circumstances, the occupants could even be seriously injured.

A rocket propels the parachute back and up from its housing. As a consequence, the

airplane manual specifies to stay clear of the parachute deployment area.

The system features a parachute, a solid-fuel rocket to deploy the parachute, a lever to

activate the rocket and a harness embedded within the fuselage structure. The

parachute and propulsion rocket are mounted behind the baggage compartment.

The parachute, which is housed in a bag that allows the parachute to deploy and open,

has a 2,400 m

2

round surface. The system is designed to keep the parachute from

opening until the rocket is away from the area housing the cords that keep the

parachute taut. The CAPS is activated by pulling from a T-handle located in the

overhead panel in the cockpit, just above the pilot’s left shoulder. The handle has a

cover to prevent accidental activation.

The airplane manual warns that the impact with the ground is equivalent to landing

from a height of approximately 13 ft, meaning that the occupants must brace for the

impact. The system is designed to work with the aircraft in various attitudes, including

Report A-015/2011

4

turns. Deploying the system from an attitude other than wings level, however, can result

in unexpected motions. The maximum demonstrated deployment speed is 133 KIAS and

the minimum altitude for a successful deployment is 920 ft.

The manual also describes the precautionary measures that should be taken prior to

activation:

• Reduce speed to avoid a structural overload and, thus, minimize the loads introduced

by the parachute.

• Cut the mixture.

• Remove the cover from the activating handle.

• Pull downward on the activating handle with both hands.

• Cut the fuel supply, cut power to the engine (battery and master switch) and turn

off the fuel pump.

• Activate the emergency locator transmitter.

• Ensure the harnesses are fastened and secure any loose components.

• Brace for emergency landing.

• Evacuate the airplane quickly after landing.

1.7. Meteorological information

The national weather agency (AEMET) reported that the most likely weather at the

accident site was light winds on the surface from the north-northwest in Asturias and

from the west-northwest in Cantabria and the Basque Country.

There was instability aloft (500-mb isobar) over almost the entire peninsula except in the

northeast. On the surface, a mass of cold air moved in gradually from Galicia to the

east over the course of the day.

As a consequence of this situation, there was considerable instability at the Asturias

Airport, which worsened as the day progressed due to cold air moving in from the west

and to ocean winds in the area. This resulted in a layer of low clouds and persistent

weak precipitation that gave rise to low visibility and even fog, reducing visibility below

1 km in places.

At the time of the accident the wind was from 340° at 8 kt. The temperature was

14 °C and the dew point was 14 °C.

In Cantabria and the Basque Country the instability was greater throughout the day,

with precipitation at various times in the morning and afternoon, but not constant as

in Asturias. Visibility conditions were also better at the airports of Santander (in excess

of 3 km), Bilbao (in excess of 6 km) and San Sebastian (from 4 to 8 km).

5

Report A-015/2011

The graph in Figure 2 shows the cloud ceiling present at the various airports along the

aircraft’s path from 06:00 (UTC) until 16:00 (UTC).

The graph in Figure 3 shows the visibility at the various airports along the aircraft’s flight

path from 06:00 (UTC) until 16:00 (UTC).

Report A-015/2011

6

Figure 2.

Cloud ceiling at the various airports

Figure 3.

Visibility at the various airports

The METAR reports for the Asturias Airport issued between 13:30 and 14:30 contained

the following information:

At 13:30

Wind from 330° at 10 kt gusting to 20 kt, varying in direction between 280° and

020°. Horizontal visibility 600 m. Local visibility on runway 29 varying between 900

and 1,500 m. Local visibility on runway 11 255 m, no change. Fog. Rain. Scattered

clouds at 200 ft. Cloudy skies at 300 ft. Temperature 15 °C, dew point 15 °C.

QNH 1,009. Fluctuating visibility at 2,000 m and light rain.

At 14:00

Wind from 340° at 8 kt varying in direction between 270° and 030°. Horizontal

visibility 800 m. Local visibility on runway 11 200 m., no change. Mist. Rain. Fog

over part of the aerodrome. Scattered clouds at 200 ft. Cloudy skies at 300 ft.

Temperature 14 °C, dew point 14 °C. QNH 1,009. Fluctuating visibility at 2,000 m

and light rain.

At 14:30

Wind from 360° at 5 kt varying in direction between 260° and 060°. Horizontal

visibility 900 m. Local visibility on runway 29 varying between 900 and 1,600 m.

Local visibility on runway 11 varying between 250 m and 350 m, no change. Rain.

Scattered clouds at 200 ft. Cloudy skies at 300 ft. Temperature 15 °C, dew point

15 °C. QNH 1,009. Fluctuating visibility at 2,000 m and light rain.

1.8. Aids to navigation

The flight took place under visual flight rules (VFR), and the pilot was not rated for

instrument flight. There is no reason to believe that they made use of any of the

available aids.

The flight was not under ATC control, meaning that ATC only provided flight

information. ATC did have radar information on the flight, however, which allowed it

to track the aircraft.

1.9. Communications

The following table shows a summary, in chronological order, of the most relevant

communications between various ATC stations and the three aircraft.

7

Report A-015/2011

Time Frequency Station

Message

12:24:16 119.85 MHz LESO, SP-AVD, Respective takeoff clearances.

12:26:43 SP-CFM and

12:28:53

SP-CUT

12:31:34 119.85 MHz SP-AVD, SP-CFM At ATC’s request, both aircraft confirm they are flying along

and LESO

the coastline.

12:33:33 Telephone LESO and LEBB San Sebastian ATC calls Bilbao ATC to report that the three

aircraft are en route to Portugal along the coastline and

SP-CFM is replying for itself and for SP-CUT.

Bilbao ATC is surprised to hear of the flights given the weather

conditions

(“What are they doing flying in this pea soup?”)

12:39:47 120.7 MHz SP-AVD, SP-CFM SP-AVD replies to ATC’s questions and confirms it is flying

and LEBB Approach along the coastline. ATC reports QNH 1008 and winds calm.

12:41:03 120.7 MHz SP-CFM, and SP-CFM replies to ATC’s questions and confirms it is flying

LEBB Approach along the coastline. ATC reports QNH 1,008 and tells the pilot

the frequency for contacting Santander is 118.37 Mhz.

ATC then calls SP-AVD to inform them of Santander’s

frequency.

12:47:48 Telephone LEBB and LEXJ Bilbao ATC informs Santander ATC that the three airplane are

flying along the coast

and that they will have to fly below

2,000 ft due to clouds.

12:59:00 118.37 MHz SP-AVD and LEXJ SP-AVD checks in and confirms it is flying along the coastline

at 1,500 ft. ATC reports QNH 1,008 and runway in use is 11.

13:00:40 118.37 MHz SP-AVD and LEXJ ATC reports QNH 1,008 and runway in use is 11.

SP-AVD requests weather for Asturias.

13:02:07 118.37 MHz SP-AVD and LEXJ ATC reports calm winds, visibility 3,400 m, fog west of runway

11, scattered clouds at 2,000 ft and broken at 3,000 ft.

Temperature 15 ºC, dew point 15 ºC and QNH 1,009 with rain.

AP-AVD requests weather for La Coruña.

13:02:50 118.37 MHz SP-AVD and LEXJ ATC reports winds from the north at 10 kt, visibility 3,700 m,

fog, few clouds at 100 ft, broken at 300 ft and at 1,300 ft,

temperature 14 ºC, dew point 14 ºC and QNH 1,001.

SP-AVD replies:

“Oh! That means it’s horrible!”

13:03:42 118.37 MHz SP-CFM and LEXJ SP-CFM checks in and confirms it is continuing with its visual

flight plan. ATC replies, confirms radar contact and instructs it

to continue flying along the coastline and to report at various

points.

13:15:37 118.37 MHz SP-CUT and LEXJ SP-CUT contacts ATC, which instructs it to continue flying

along the coastline. ATC asks to report at various points.

13:21:02 Telephone LEXJ and

LEXJ Tower reports that there are three airplanes crossing

ACC Madrid

to the west at 1,500 ft or less and asks about transferring

them to the Asturias Tower. Madrid ACC replies to keep

them on their frequency.

Report A-015/2011

8

Time Frequency Station

Message

13:38:45 Telephone LEAS and

Madrid ACC calls Asturias ATC to report two incoming

ACC Madrid aircraft, re

gistrations SP-AVD and SP-CFM, flying at 1,500 ft

and 1,800 ft.

Asturias ACC says that weather conditions are very bad

and that they do not think they can go through there,

except maybe along the coastline.

13:43:36 118.15 MHz T

GM161K and LEAS TGM161K reports to As

turias ATC that the clouds are at

6,500 ft, after be

ing asked by ATC.

13:44:20 126.675 MHz L

EAS and Asturias ACC calls Madrid ACC in order them to inform the

ACC Madrid

“two planes”

that the clouds start at 6,500 ft and extend

all the way down.

13:51:03 118.15 MHz SP-AVD and LEAS

SP-AVD contacts the Asturias Tower to report

its position 10 NM E of the field, requests weather

information, runway in use and wind data. It then

reports that there are two aircraft behind it, SP-CFM

and SP-CUT. ATC provides the information requested as

well as the QNH, and explicitly informs that the airport

is under low visibility conditions. It also asks if they are

flying along the coast and requests that they report

passing north of the airfield.

13:54:23 118.15 MHz SP-AVD and LEAS SP-AVD reports being over point N.

13:56:35 118.15 MHz SP-AVD and LEAS SP-AVD requests QNH information.

13:57:13 118.15 MHz SP-CFM and LEAS ATC reports QNH 1,009 and requests confirmation that

it is flying along the coastline at 2,000 ft.

SP-CFM reports it is flying at 1,800 ft descending to point VES.

ATC asks that it report passing north of the airfield and

not to fly over the airport’s VOR.

13:59:16 118.15 MHz SP-CFM and LEAS

The airport reports low visibility conditions.

13:59:26 118.15 MHz SP-CUT and LEAS

ATC contacts SP-CUT and requests its altitude.

SP-CUT replies 1,500 ft.

ATC confirms the low visibility conditions at the airport.

14:00:28 118.15 MHz LEAS and IBE0475

ATC informs IBE0475, which was awaiting permission

to take off, that one of the airplanes may have

crashed.

14:00:37 Telephone LEAS and

The tower informs airport Operations that they heard

Airport Operations

a noise and that SP-CFM may have crashed in the airport.

It asks to call emergency services and anyone else as

required. Operations informs the tower that the airplane

is on the apron.

14:00:55 118.15 MHz LEAS

ATC calls SP-AVD and receives no reply.

14:01:01 118.15 MHz LEAS

ATC calls SP-CFM and receives no reply.

9

Report A-015/2011

Time Frequency Station

Message

14:01:07 118.15 MHz LEAS

LEAS informs the airport firefighters that

“Yes, it’s here on

the apron”.

14:01:23 121.7 MHz Airport firefighters The firefighters confirm that

“Yes, it’s here in a corner of

the apron, in parking stand 1”.

14:01:32 118.15 MHz SP-CUT and LEAS LEAS tells them to

“maintain altitude and not to enter the

airport”.

SP-CUT replies that it is maintaining 1,500 ft.

LEAS asks if it can return to Santander, and SP-CUT confirms

that it is returning to Santander.

14:02:25 118.15 MHz LEAS

ATC calls SP-AVD and receives no reply.

14:03:06 Telephone LEAS and

The tower informs airport Operations that an airplane

Airport Operations

has disappeared to the southwest, that it must be around

Ranón.

14:03:39 118.15 MHz LEAS

ATC calls SP-AVD and receives no reply.

14:04:55 121.7 MHz LEAS

Asks the signalman to check the runway.

14:05:02 118.15 MHz SP-CUT and LEAS SP-CUT confirms it is returning to Santander and asks about

the weather conditions in La Coruña and Santander before

confirming again that it is returning to Santander.

From 118.15 MHz SP-CUT and LEAS SP-CUT asks ATC several times if it is in contact with SP-CFM,

14:07:14 to which ATC replies no.

to 14:14:31

14:14:54 Telephone LEAS and SAR SAR informs the tower that an emergency beacon signal has

been detected from 43° 33’ 55.38” N – 6° 3’ 7.98” W, and

confirms that it is from airplane SP-AVD.

The tower then calls emergency personnel (112) and reports

the coordinates of the ELT signal.

14:17:41 Telephone LEAS and The Tower informs Operations of the coordinates of the ELT

Airport Operations signal and that it corresponds to airplane SP-AVD.

14:22:34 121.7 MHz Airport firefighters Airport firefighters inform the tower that the registration

of the airplane on the apron is SP-cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.10. Aerodrome information

The Asturias Airport (LEAS) is at an elevation of 416 ft (127 m).

It has one 2,200-m long runway in an 11-29 orientation (Fig. 4).

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10

The airport has the following low-visibility procedures (LVP):

1. GENERAL

1.1. Runway 11/29 may be used for reduced visibility takeoffs. Runway 29

is equipped with a CAT III ILS and may be used for CAT III approaches.

1.2. In addition to the general procedures, the Low-Visibility Procedures shall

be applicable in the following circumstances.

• When the RVR value of any transmissometer is less than or equal to

600 m or the same visibility value if the transmissometers are not in

service.

• When the cloud ceiling is at or below 75 m (250 ft).

• As required by rapidly degrading weather conditions.

1.3. Pilots shall be informed via radio that the LVP are in effect. Any

changes that are reported or detected that could affect the LVP shall

be reported immediately to affected aircraft and ATC stations.

1.4. ATC stations shall directly supply the runway visual range values

according to the following:

RVR ALPHA: Range associated with the Touchdown Zone.

RVR BRAVO: Range at the runway halfway point.

RVR CHARLIE: Range at the end of the runway.

1.5. The clearance to land shall not be given once the aircraft is 2 NM away

from the TDZ. If this is not possible, instructions shall be given to the

aircraft to go around. For ILS approaches, permission to land shall only

be given when the sensitive and critical ILS areas (LSA and LCA) are clear.

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Figure 4.

Aerial view of the airport

1.6. The LVP shall be lifted when all of the following are present:

• RVR values in excess of 800 m at every transmissometer or the same

visibility value if they are out of service.

• Cloud ceiling at 90 m (300 ft).

• Steadily improving weather conditions.

The Asturias Airport TMA extends above 600 m (AGL or AMSL, as appropriate) to a

distance of 30 NM and above 300 m (AGL or AMSL, as appropriate) to a distance of

20 NM. The airport control zone (CTR) includes all of the airspace below the TMA out

to 20 NM. The airspace between the TMA and the CTR is classified at type D airspace,

based on the classification found in ICAO Annex 11. In this type of airspace, VFR flights

receive flight information and information on other transiting aircraft. VFR flights en

route to the airport must proceed along designated points and request permission to

enter the CTR. If accessing via the coastline from the north, the last point is designated

“N”, and is located some 11 NM away from the runway in a NE direction. Once past

this point, VFR flights must fly below 1,000 ft AGL.

The airport also has special protection zones (APCH FINAL) along the extension of both

runways from their respective thresholds that must not be crossed at any time without

permission from the tower.

1.11. Flight recorders

The airplane did not have flight recorders, nor was it required to by aviation regulations,

given its characteristics.

The MFD and PFD were, however, recovered and sent to the manufacturer, which was

able to recover the parameters recorded on both devices.

The MFD recorded data from 12:12:30 until 13:58:42, and logged a flight duration of

1:46:12 h. The last information was recorded 1 km to the southwest of the runway 11

threshold at the Asturias Airport.

According to these data, the airplane took off at 12:25:03 and established a cruising

pressure altitude of 1,400 ft at first, then 1,600 ft and then approximately 900 ft.

Engine rpm’s for most of the flight were between 2,100 and 2,200, with an intake

pressure of between 22” Hg

3

and 23” Hg. Fuel consumption was between 10 and 11

gallons

4

/hour (between 37.85 l/h and 41.63 l/h). Nothing out of the ordinary was found

in the EGT (exhaust gas temperature) or CHT (cylinder head temperature) readings.

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12

3

1” of Hg is equivalent to 33.864 hPa or 33. 864 mb.

4

1 gallon is equivalent to 3.785 l.

Figures 5 and 6 show the complete route and the path flown just before the accident,

as taken from the MFD. Appendix A shows the last five minutes of the flight. Figure 7

shows the altitude profile.

The PFD recorded data from 12:09:48 until 13:58:56, for a total duration of 1:49:12

hours. The PFD started recording data three minutes before the MFD because the former

is turned on before engine start-up, whereas the latter is turned on with the avionics

suite. The readings taken from the two devices were not synchronized.

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Figure 5.

Complete route taken from the MFD

Figure 6.

Final moments of the flight taken from the MFD

Keeping in mind the above, a summary of the most significant flight data taken from

the PFD is given below:

• The aircraft started its takeoff run at 12:24:44, and took off at approximately

12:25:03, with an indicated airspeed of almost 80 kt.

• At 12:29:14 the autopilot was engaged and remained so until 13 seconds before the

end of the recording. The airplane stabilized at an altitude of 1,260 ft.

• At 12:48:50 it climbed to 1,500 ft., an altitude that was maintained until 13:32:43,

when it descended to 800 ft. At 13:55:58, a new descent was started to 600 ft.,

which the airplane reached at 13:56:48. All of these altitude changes were

commanded using the autopilot.

• The heading was maintained at around 270° until 13:58:07, at which time a series

of sudden course changes were made, first to 182°, then to 120°, then north and

then back to 270°. The initial and subsequent courses were all controlled via the

autopilot.

• The autopilot was disengaged at 13:58:43. The airplane immediately banked hard to

the left, dropping its nose from a positive pitch angle to a negative value in excess

of 18°. The indicated airspeed increased from 114 kt to 130 kt before reaching its

last recorded value of 43 kt.

• The last three seconds of the recording show high accelerations and changes in

attitude. The yaw varied from 43°/s to the left at 11:58:53 to 21°/s in the opposite

direction just two seconds later. Simultaneously the airplane pitched up at 30°/s and

then down at 21°/s. An abrupt longitudinal deceleration in excess of –1 g was also

recorded in the final instants.

• The last data recorded were from 13:58:54, and showed the nose down at 13.3°, a

left 38° bank angle, a course of 042°, an indicated airspeed of 43 kt and an altitude

of 387 ft.

Appendix B shows graphs for the most significant parameters in the final seconds of

the flight.

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Figure 7.

Altitude in the final seconds as recorded by the PFD

1.12. Wreckage and impact information

During the investigation, it was noted that in the instants prior to the final impact, the

aircraft’s flight path had been from the southwest toward the northeast. The aircraft

struck the tops of three eucalyptus trees at the top of Bayas Mountain

5

, cutting them

off. It then went into a sharp dive and impacted in a nose-down attitude against the

mountain’s hillside at coordinates 43° 33’ 55.38” N – 6° 3’ 7.98” W, at an altitude of

185.36 ft (56.5 m). The fuselage was pointing east.

The fuselage was in an east-west orientation, with the nose pointing east.

The tail assembly detached and was found 2 m. left of the aircraft. The horizontal

stabilizer was lying on the ground (see Figure 8).

The right wing also detached from the fuselage after impact and was found upside

down 2.5 m to the right. It broke in two at approximately the halfway point.

The part that was most affected by the crash was the cockpit, which had dug into a

depression in the ground. The entire control panel was severely damaged, as was the

rest of the compartment.

 

 

 

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Figure 8.

Photograph of airplane from the left side

5

Bayas Mountain has an approximate altitude of 172 m (500 ft).

Two of the propeller’s three blades

6

broke and were found detached and partly buried

in the ground, though they were not severely damaged.

The airplane’s emergency parachute was found deployed and tangled in a tree at the

accident site.

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16

Figure 9.

Photograph of airplane from right side

6

The blades are also made of composites.

1.13. Medical and pathological information

The bodies of the occupants were removed from the wreckage by emergency services

once they were confirmed to be dead. They were then taken by helicopter to the

airport’s runway, where an initial medical examination revealed that they had died very

recently.

The autopsy showed that both the pilot and occupant’s injuries were consistent with a

violent death of an accidental nature. The immediate cause of death was the destruction

of vital organs, with the main cause being multiple and severe trauma. The time of

death for both was determined to be 14:00.

1.14. Survival aspects

Emergency services personnel provided the following information regarding the location

of the wreckage and the extraction of the bodies.

At 14:08 the Asturias Airport called the Asturias emergency number to report that a

small airplane had crashed at the airport’s airplane parking area. The call was cut off.

They also reported the disappearance of another, smaller airplane.

At 14:12, communications were reestablished with the airport, during which the deaths

of two persons onboard the airplane that had crashed at the airport were confirmed,

as well as the existence of a second airplane with which contact had been lost. The

airport reported the need to conduct a search of the Ranón or San Juan de la Arena

areas.

At 14:15 a rescue party was organized and the Asturias firefighters dispatched a medical

services helicopter with a pilot, doctor and two rescue firefighters onboard.

At 14:17 the Avilés firefighters responded with two firefighters, a multipurpose rescue

vehicle and an all-terrain transport vehicle.

At 14:18 the La Morgal firefighters station responded by dispatching another helicopter

that was carrying, in addition to the pilot, a firefighter, two assistant firefighters and

the area chief.

At 14:19 the Pravia firefighters station dispatched three firefighters, a truck and an all-

terrain transport vehicle.

At around 14:33 the firefighters from the Pravia station reached the area of the airport

runway.

At about 14:42 the firefighters from the Avilés station reached the town of Ranón.

At about 15:00 the two Asturias firefighter helicopters reached the vicinity of the

airport. The arrival of the helicopters was delayed by the fog, which prevented them

from flying in a straight line, forcing them instead to go from La Morgal to the vicinity

of Gijón and then along the coastline to the airport.

At 15:07 rescue divers were called in the event that the airplane might have fallen into

the sea. The rescue divers were never dispatched since the airplane wreckage was

sighted beforehand.

Personnel on the ground and the two helicopters started to look in the vicinity of the

coordinates provided by the control tower.

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Report A-015/2011

The wreckage was found on Bayas Mountain, to the southwest of the runway 11

threshold, at about 15:08.

All of the ground personnel proceeded from their respective search areas to the site

where the airplane wreckage was found. The doctor and one of the rescue firefighters

were lowered to the accident site and were the first to reach the aircraft.

With the aid of the ground personnel that eventually reached the site, rescuers were

able to make their way to the wreckage through some of the trees that had been

downed by the impact.

The deaths of both occupants were confirmed shortly thereafter.

Several Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) officers then arrived at the site, including members

of the Legal Police Squad. After receiving authorization to remove the bodies, rescue

crews proceeded to extract the occupants from the wreckage.

At about 17:21, the firefighting helicopter took off from the airport to transfer the

bodies from the accident site to the airport.

At about 18:15, all the personnel from the Asturias firefighters squad began to

withdraw from the site, thus concluding the rescue operations.

1.15. Organizational and management information

1.15.1.

Control services

At the time of the accident, there were two traffic controllers at the airport tower in

charge of traffic in and around the airport, including taxi movements within the airport

itself.

Communications with aircraft took place on a frequency of 118.15 MHz, while

communications with vehicles on the ground took place on 121.7 MHz. ATC personnel

had at their disposal a radar unit.

These three services were normally handled by a single controller, though on the day of

the accident there were two controllers on duty as part of the day shift crew at the

Asturias control tower. They had over 20 years of experience in various locations. One

was handling radio communications and another was there in a support role. After the

accident, the swing shift controller also provided assistance.

The controller who was handling communications at the time of the accident was

relieved ten minutes after the accident by the other controller who was on support duty,

Report A-015/2011

18

in compliance with the Aena Air Navigation Office’s “Aircraft Emergencies and Special

Situation Procedure”, S41-02-GUI-001-3.1, dated 25 March 2011

7

, which recommends,

if possible, the “Relief of the Controller” as a priority in the event of an accident.

The controllers on duty reported that neither of the two accident aircraft declared an

emergency, nor requested assistance or clearance to land.

1.15.2.

Airport services

The airport has an emergency plan that was last revised on 15 October 2008. Chapter

IV deals with emergencies involving aircraft, and considers the following cases, among

others:

1. Aircraft accident at the airport.

2. Aircraft accident outside the airport

2.1. On land

2.2. In water

On the day of the accident, the low visibility procedures (LVP) had been placed in effect

at 08:38.

At 14:01, the accident of aircraft SP-CFM was called in to the control tower and the

emergency plan was activated. The Main Command Post (MCP) was deployed to the

site of the airplane. A minute later the MCP notified Civil Guard and National Police

personnel stationed at the airport, the airport’s health services and the emergency

telephone number (112).

At 14:18 the airport maneuvering area was checked and reported to be operational.

The report was received of the activation of the ELT in aircraft SP-AVD.

At 14:38 the signal from the ELT in aircraft SP-AVD was reported activated.

At 14:57 the return of aircraft SP-CUT was reported to the Main Command Post by the

Santander Airport Operations office.

At 15:50 the airport was declared operational.

At 16:16 the emergency plan was lifted.

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7

This procedure is adapted from the document “Controller Training in the Handling of Unusual Incidents”, published

by Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation.

 

 

 

2. ANALYSIS

 

2. ANALYSIS

2.1. History of the operation

During the investigation it was noted that the pilot was aware of the weather conditions

present along the planned route. It was not possible to ascertain, however, if the pilot

obtained the information prior to departing or what the information consisted of. The

information available in the hours prior to the flight already showed that the weather

was not conducive to visual flight, particularly in and around the Asturias Airport. What

is known is that during the flight the crew received sufficient information from ATC to

know that conditions were unfavorable and detrimental to visual flight. Proof of this is

the fact that at 13:02:50, after learning of the weather conditions at the Asturias and

La Coruña airports, the pilot remarked, “Oh, that means it’s horrible!” At that time they

were flying in the vicinity of the Santander Airport, which happened to be one of their

alternate airports, and the logic of their situation dictated that they should have opted

to land there, return to the departure airport in San Sebastián and land there or go to

the Bilbao Airport, which was halfway between the two.

It is not known why exactly the pilot decided to continue with the flight. What is known

is that when they reached the vicinity of the Asturias Airport, they were flying under

VFR along the coast, as they had been since the start of the flight, at which point they

entered into IMC, either unexpectedly or in an effort to regain the visual references they

had lost moments earlier.

At 13:51:03, the time of the last communication, they were still flying in VFR. From that

moment on until almost the time of the crash, at around 13:59, the autopilot

maintained the altitude while the airplane flew on a westerly-southwesterly course.

On this last exchange, the pilot reported his position without any apparent problems

and requested information on the runway in use and the wind, which could indicate

that he was assessing the possibility of landing in Asturias. He did not, however, request

explicit instructions from the control tower to land. The controller provided the

information requested and explicitly mentioned that low-visibility procedures were in

effect at the airport, which made a visual landing impossible. He also requested that the

aircraft report flying to the north of the airfield, and indicated that there was no traffic

reported that could interfere with their flight path along the coastline, as would have

been the case had an aircraft taken off from runway 29.

These instructions indicated ATC’s conformity with regard to having the flight continue

to the north of the airport, which made it possible for the aircraft to continue to have

available the essential reference provided by the coastline. It also indicates that the

controller at no time believed that the aircraft was planning to land on the runway in

use, which was in the opposite direction, which would also have meant a change to the

flight plan.

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Report A-015/2011

The fact that the pilot made no further efforts to communicate with the airport, beyond

reporting its position and obtaining new QNH information to ensure a proper reference

altitude, indicates that entering into IMC could have produced great stress in the pilot,

probably due to his complete disorientation. This undoubtedly prevented him from

making decisions, meaning that he was unable to react and communicate with the

airport and request some type of help to aid in his reorientation.

The course information recorded on the MFD indicates that during that time interval,

the pilot was attempting to find the airport runway, given the progressive change in

course from the southwest to the southeast.

Moreover, the data recorded on the PFD show that in the final moments of the flight,

while at around 500 ft, there was a sudden drop in the airplane’s altitude and indicated

airspeed (IAS) that resulted in the airplane adopting a nose-down attitude that was

consistent with the manner in which the impact took place.

The fact that the airplane struck the tops of several trees in the highest part of Bayas

Mountain, at an altitude of some 500 ft, while flying at a relatively level attitude,

indicates that it was after these impacts that the pilot activated the emergency

parachute.

Since the airplane was below the minimum safety altitude, there was not enough time

for it to deploy. The drag it generated, however, was enough to lower the airplane’s

speed sharply, leading to a loss of lift and the subsequent fall with a nose-down attitude

while turning to the left (opposite the propeller blades’ direction of rotation), as

recorded in the PFD.

The little damage suffered by the propeller blades is explained by the fact that the pilot

probably reduced engine power at the last second, meaning that the impact took place

with the propellers turning very slowly.

2.2. ATS performance aspects

The investigation revealed that all of the stations involved along the route expressed

serious reservations regarding whether the crews were aware of the risk they were taking

by flying in such adverse weather conditions, in some cases even wondering if the crews

had properly understood and assimilated the indications they had been given. This is

clearly evident in the conversation that took place at 12:33:33 between San Sebastián

ATC and Bilbao ATC, in which the controller expressed his surprise at the fact that they

were flying in those weather conditions (“What are they doing flying in this pea soup?”).

At 12:47:48, Bilbao ATC informed Santander ATC that the three airplanes were flying

along the coastline and that they had to fly below 2,000 ft because it was very cloudy.

Report A-015/2011

22

Concern over the dangers of flying in those conditions was also manifested by Asturias

ATC when, after being informed by the Madrid ACC that there were three airplanes

flying toward the area in VFR, replied that the weather conditions were very bad and it

was unlikely they would be able to transit through there. This concern led them to ask

the crew of an airplane that was doing an IFR approach about the altitude of the cloud

layer from above, information that they quickly relayed to the Madrid ACC for it to pass

to the three airplanes flying under VFR.

Since the Asturias Airport TMA and CTR are classified as type D airspace, VFR flights are

allowed at the discretion of the air traffic control service, which provides transit

information on all other flights. ATS were in contact with the aircraft and supplied the

information requested, consistent with the airspace classification.

The concerns manifested by the ATS stations calls into question whether more direct

actions could have been taken by the controllers that would have succeeded in making

the pilots reconsider the advisability of flying in those conditions and turn around, as

was done by the third airplane following the other two accidents. As regards the

Asturias Airport control tower, the short time that elapsed between the two accident

airplanes deviating from their flight paths along the coast and the impact (about 40

seconds in the case of SP-AVD), and the fact that the pilots neither requested help nor

clearly stated their intentions, were undoubtedly crucial factors that impeded a better

evaluation of the situation by controllers and kept them from taking additional

measures.

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Report A-015/2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. CONCLUSION

 

 

 

3. CONCLUSION

3.1. Findings

• Aircraft AVD took off from the San Sebastián Airport (LESO) at 12:25:03 on a VFR

flight en route to the Maia Airport (LPVL), located in Vilar da Luz (Portugal).

• Flying with AVD, also on a VFR flight, were two other aircraft, both CESSNA 182’s,

registrations SP-CFM and SP-CUT, in that order and following behind AVD.

• The flight relied on the visual reference provided by the coastline.

• They established radio contact with the Bilbao Airport (LESO) and with the Santander

Airport (LEXJ), the latter of which informed them of the weather conditions present

at both the Asturias Airport (LEAS) and the La Coruña Airport (LECO).

• At 13:51, some 12 NM from the airport, the aircraft requested TWR the meteorological

information, the wind and the runway in use. The controller provided the information

requested and indicated the aircraft that low visibility conditions prevailed at the airport.

• Later on, the aircraft contacted the TWR in two occasions, to inform about its position

and to request a new QNH confirmation, while flying along the coastline.

• Some 40 s before the impact, the aircraft left the coastline, heading towards the

runway at some 190 ft above airport.

• ATC did not contacted again and did not supply more information after this change

of heading.

• It is estimated that at around 13:59, the aircraft impacted the ground at coordinates

43° 33’ 55.38” N – 6° 3’ 7.98” W and at an altitude of 185.36 ft (56.5 m) in a nose-

down attitude in a easterly direction.

• The tail assembly and the right wing broke off on impact.

• The entire front section of the airplane, which houses the engine and the cockpit,

was practically destroyed, although the MFD and PFD installed in the cockpit were

recovered, along with the data they had recorded.

• The airplane’s parachute (CAPS) was found deployed at the accident site.

• In the final seconds of the flight, the aircraft struck several trees at the top of Bayas

Mountain, at an altitude of 500 ft, after which its indicated airspeed and flight

attitude dropped sharply.

• The occupants died instantly as a result of the violent impact.

3.2. Causes

The accident was caused by the pilot’s entering into IMC despite not having an IFR rating,

leading to spatial disorientation in the pilot due to the absence of external references.

The investigation revealed that the airplane struck several treetops while airborne. The

pilot then deployed the emergency parachute but at an altitude that was insufficient for

it to have any effect. This caused the airplane to spin out of control to the left in a nose-

down attitude.

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Report A-015/2011

4. SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX A

SCAAI Comments

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APPENDIX B

Graphs of the final minutes

of the flight taken from the MFD

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APPENDIX C

Graphs of the final minutes

of the flight taken from the PFD

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http://www.fomento.es/NR/rdonlyres/1AE85360-A737-46BF-83AC-D3E5CFC1093C/113818/2011_015_A_ENG.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

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