October 2001 - Scandinavian Airlines 686
Scandinavian Airlines Flight 686, an MD-87 plane carrying 110 people
and headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, collided on take-off with a Cessna
Citation II (registration D-IEVX) business jet carrying four, heading
to Paris, France. All 114 people on board the two aircraft were killed,
as were four on the ground; a further four people on the ground were
The accident occurred in thick fog, with visibility reduced to less
than 200 m.
A brand new Cessna 525A CitationJet 2, D-IEVX, arrived at Milan-Linate
following a flight from Köln. The Cessna was to carry out a return
flight to Paris-Le Bourget, carrying two pilots, a Cessna sales manager
and a prospective customer. The plane arrived at 06:59 and was taxied
to the General aviation apron, also known as 'West apron'. It was a
foggy morning at Milan and one of the passenger flights parked on the
North apron was SAS MD-87 "Lage Viking" which was being prepared
for flight SK686 to Copenhagen, scheduled to depart at 07:35. At 07:41,
the pilot of the MD-87 contacted Linate Ground Control for his engine
start clearance, as the boarding of 104 passengers had been completed.
The Ground controller cleared the pilot to start engines and advised
that the slot time for takeoff of the flight was at 08:16. Thirteen
minutes later flight 686 was cleared to taxi to runway 36R: "Scandinavian
686 taxi to the holding position Cat III, QNH 1013 and please call me
back entering the main taxiway."
A few minutes later, the Cessna pilot requested permission to start
the engines. The ground controller then gave start-up clearance. The
ground controller then requested flight 686 to contact the Tower controller.
From this moment on the crew of the MD-87 and the crew of the Cessna
were tuned on two different radio frequencies. At 08:05 the pilots of
the Cessna received taxi clearance: "Delta Victor Xray taxi north
via Romeo 5, QNH 1013, call me back at the stop bar of the ... main
The pilot acknowledged by saying: "Roger via Romeo 5 and ... 1013,
and call you back before reaching main runway."
The Cessna started to taxi from the General Aviation parking position,
following the yellow taxi line. After reaching the position where the
yellow taxi line splits into two diverging directions, the pilot erroneously
took the taxi line to right and entered taxiway R6. At 08:09 the Ground
controller cleared the Cessna to continue its taxi on the North apron.
At the same time the Tower controller cleared the MD-87 for takeoff:
"...Scandinavian 686 Linate, clear for take off 36, the wind is
calm report rolling, when airborne squawk ident." The pilot advanced
the throttles and acknowledged the clearance: "Clear for takeoff
36 at when...airborne squawk ident and we are rolling, Scandinavian
686." When the MD-87 was speeding down the runway, the Cessna crossed
the runway holding sign and entered the active runway 18L/36R.
At 08.10:21 the nose landing gear of the MD-87 had left the ground and
main gears were extending the shock absorbers but the main wheels were
still on the ground at an airspeed of 146 knots (270,5 km/h).
At that moment the MD-87 crew probably saw a glimpse of the Cessna through
the fog and reacted with additional large nose-up elevator. At that
moment the MD-87 collided with the CitationJet. The right wing of the
MD-87 sustained damage at the leading edge and the right hand main landing
gear leg broke off. It damaged the right flap and struck the no. 2 engine
which then separated from the pylon. The pilot of the MD-87 gradually
advanced the throttles and then the aircraft was airborne for a total
of 12 seconds, reaching an estimated height of about 35 feet (11 meters).
The left hand engine suffered a noticeable thrust reduction as a result
of debris ingestion, which became insufficient to sustain flight.
The airspeed had increased up to 166 knots (307,6 km/h), but the MD-87
descended abruptly making contact with the runway with the left hand
maingear, the truncated right hand maingear leg and the tip of the right
hand wing. Prior to touch down the pilot reduced engine thrust and after
ground contact the engine reverse levers were activated and deployed
(on the left hand engine only). Maximum available reverse thrust was
selected and the brakes applied and the pilot tried to guide the plane
through its control surfaces. The maneuver was judged so skillful that
it is now incorporated into SAS technical manuals. All this was insufficient
to halt the jet's momentum, and it crashed into a luggage hangar located
near the runway's end, at a speed of approximately 251 km/h. In the
impact, all the MD-87's crew and passengers were killed. The crash and
subsequent fire killed four Italian ground personnel in the hangar,
and injured four more.
to the official accident report
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