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

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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.