Spanair Techs Face Hearing on Crashed MD-82 Repairs

 - October 29, 2008, 8:26 AM

A Spanish judge will question two Spanair maintenance technicians and their chief about the MD-82 crash that killed 154 people and wounded another 18 on August 20 at Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain. The three Spanair employees may be subsequently charged with manslaughter and injuries through negligence. In his decision, the judge investigating the crash noted the takeoff warning system (TOWS), the failure of which contributed to the accident, was fed by the same relay as the ram air temperature sensor. The sensor had itself failed and one technician had thus deactivated it. According to the judge, the two technicians greenlighted the aircraft’s dispatch, without detecting a TOWS failure. Their chief, who heads Spanair’s maintenance operation at Barajas, may be held responsible for unsatisfactory repair of the flap and slat system, which had failed on August 9 and 18. The TOWS was supposed to alert the crew of the inadequate configuration of the flaps and slats. The judge will hold a hearing on November 12.