Latest news on Spanair 5022 and Qantas decompression

According to the Wall Street Journal, an error with the flaps configuration may have caused the Spanair crash last month. As I wrote analysing the mishap in my post “Spanair 5022: a video doesn’t show any explosion. Did the MD82 stall before hitting the ground?”, for a series of reasons I suspected that the pilots may have falied to extend the flaps before take off. It seems that the data obtained from the flight data recorder has confirmed this theory. It will be interesting to read a preliminary report, as soon as published, in order to guess the reasons why the pilot did not set the flap configuration required for take-off and if the reason is the same of the similar crashes I talked about in the previous post.
In the meanwhile, the ATSB has issued a preliminary report dealing with the QF30 emergency. We all know from a few weeks, that the explosion was caused by the numeber 4 passenger oxygen cylinder (from a bank of seven cylinders along the right side of the cargo hold). The cylinder suddenly discharged its pressurised contents rupturing the fuselage next to the leading edge of the right wing. The cylinder, propelled by the force induced from the discharge, entered the second mai cabin door before falling and exiting the aircraft through the inverted T-shaped hole in the fuselage. The preliminary report doesn’t give any explaination about the reasons that led the cylinder to depressurize as the investigation is still in progress however it is extremely interesting because it contains both detailed pictures, FDR plots and drawings.
The report is available at the address or from the ATSB website ( You can download it by clicking the following link:

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.