Date: March 05, 1973
Time: 1350
Location: Near Nantes, France
Operator: Lineas Aereas de Espana/Spantax SA Transportes
Flight #: 504/400
Route: Palma de Mallorca - London
AC Type: MD Douglas DC-9-32/Convair CV-990A
Registration: EC-BII/EC-BJC
cn / ln: 47077/148 /30-10-22
Aboard: 182   (passengers:166  crew:16)
Fatalities: 68   (passengers:61  crew:7)
Ground: 0
Summary: Midair collision. Both planes were headed to London, at the same altitude, but different airways. When the Convair was at the ATC sector boundary, the crew could barely hear the Marina controller who instructed them to contact Menhir control. The pilot erroneously thought he had to contact Menhir control when passing the Nantes VOR. In order to delay their arrival at the VOR the Convair crew twice tried to request permission to carry out a 360-degree turn. When they did not get any answer from Marina control, they initiated the turn without clearance. While in the midst of an overcast, the Convair collided with the DC-9. The CV-990 lost an outboard portion of its left wing and managed to carry out an emergency landing at Cognac-Châteaubernard Air Base. The DC-9 lost control and crashed. The air traffic control system had been taken over that day by military personnel because of a strike of civilian controllers.

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