Accident Boeing 737-8AS (WL) EI-EPC,
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Date:Saturday 31 July 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-8AS (WL)
Registration: EI-EPC
MSN: 40312/3574
Year of manufacture:2011
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 178
Aircraft damage: None
Location:near Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN/LEBL) -   Spain
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Fez-Sais Airport (FEZ/GMFF)
Destination airport:Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN/LEBL)
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Boeing 737-8AS aircraft bearing registration number EI-EPC left Fez Airport (GMFF) in Morocco and made its way to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (LEBL) in accordance with Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR) MATEX 2E. It was scheduled to land on runway 07L.
During the descent, the flight crew observed the presence of cumulonimbus on the weather radar and asked ATC to adjust the flight’s intended track in order to avoid the cloud. The captain then informed the cabin crew of the possibility of turbulence during the approach and asked them to proceed to secure the cabin.
The aircraft continued its descent and entered an area of undetected turbulence that lasted for around two minutes, during which time the aircraft’s speed increased until it approached the maximum operating speed (VMO). In order to reduce speed, the pilot flying (PF) disengaged the autopilot and pitched nose up. Vertical acceleration of +3.09 g was recorded at that moment. One second later, he moved the control column in the opposite direction, lowering the aircraft’s nose and recording vertical acceleration of -0.18 g.
While this was happening, the cabin crew members were on their feet and beginning the task of securing the cabin. As they did not have enough time to sit down or secure themselves, they were thrown against various parts of the cabin and fell to the floor. After the aircraft had passed through the area of turbulence, one of the cabin crew members asked the flight crew to request an ambulance upon arrival at the airport, as two of the cabin crew members had been incapacitated.

Upon landing at Barcelona Airport, the injured cabin crew members were attended by the airport’s medical service. In addition to the injured cabin crew members, one passenger also suffered head wounds. All of the injured parties were taken to hospital.

The investigation has concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the series of actions taken by the PF to prevent the aircraft from exceeding the VMO while it was flying through an area of turbulence. This resulted in vertical acceleration that injured a passenger and two cabin crew members.
After carrying out an internal safety investigation into the accident, the operator reinforced the flight crew’s training on the subject of turbulence and overspeed.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Report number: A-037/2021
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



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