Compliance Impossible: The 1973 Nantes Midair Collision

A Spantax Convair 990 Coronado similar to the one involved in the accident. Image source: Eduard Marmet
A map of the relevant area of the Marina Air Traffic Control Sector. (Own work)
An Iberia Douglas DC-9 similar to the one involved in the accident. Image source: Aero Icarus (Wikimedia)
How the Menhir controller made a critical misunderstanding when telling the Marina controller where he wanted the Coronado. (Own work)
Spantax flight 400 is given an order with which it is impossible to comply. (Own work)
Time is running out and the pilots of flight 400 must consider several options — all of them bad. (Own work)
A collision is now inevitable. (Own work)
Sketch of the moment of the collision. (Own work)
The tail of the DC-9 lies next to a road after the crash. Image source: Presse-Océan
The crash understandably made for major headlines in a local newspaper. Image source: Presse-Océan
Another view of the DC-9’s severed tail. Image source: Presse-Océan
Gendarmes inspect a piece of the DC-9’s fuselage, which came to rest in a farmer’s field. Image source: The Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives
The nose section of the DC-9 still displayed the plane’s nickname, “Ciudad de Sevilla.” Image source: Christian Vallantin
Another view of the DC-9’s shattered fuselage. Image source: Presse-Océan

--

--

--

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Women With Guns Helped Win the Nicaraguan Revolution

Harrison Stephen Foster : Woman smiles in mugshot, accused of killing boyfriend with sword on…

Did Marcus Aurelius Screw the Pooch?

Why Russia (nor anyone else) will never invade the United States.

Egg Shells, Soap, and Sir Robert Walpole’s Kidney Stones

Kintsugi

In Balakovo, an employee of a state enterprise was accused of corruption

In Balakovo, an employee of a state enterprise was accused of corruption

Exactly How Big Is Auschwitz?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

More from Medium

Errors of Our Ways: The crash of Ansett New Zealand flight 703

Not Turning Back: The 2011 Münchenstein (Switzerland) Tram Derailment

Helicopter Medevac Operators Exploring use of FAA Weather Camera System

Rotorcraft at sunset.

The Long Shadow of War: The story of the shootdown of Iran Air flight 655