|Date:||20 JAN 1992|
|C/n / msn:||015|
|Total airframe hrs:||6316|
|Engines:||2 CFMI CFM56-5A1|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 82 / Occupants: 90|
|Total:||Fatalities: 87 / Occupants: 96|
|Airplane damage:||Written off|
|Location:||19,5 km (12.2 mls) from Strasbourg (France)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Lyon Satolas Airport (LYS)|
||Strasbourg-Entzheim Airport (SXB)|
Following an uneventful flight from Lyons the crew prepared for a descent and approach to Strasbourg. At first the crew asked for an ILS approach to runway 26 followed by a visual circuit to land on runway 05. This was not possible because of departing traffic from runway 26. The Strasbourg controllers then gave flight 148 radar guidance to ANDLO at 11DME from the Strasbourg VORTAC. Altitude over ANDLO was 5000 feet. After ANDLO the VOR/DME approach profile calls for a 5.5% slope (3.3deg angle of descent) to the Strasbourg VORTAC. While trying to program the angle of descent, "-3.3", into the Flight Control Unit (FCU) the crew did not notice that it was in HDG/V/S (heading/vertical speed) mode. In vertical speed mode "-3.3" means a descent rate of 3300 feet/min. In TRK/FPA (track/flight path angle) mode this would have meant a (correct) -3.3deg descent angle. A -3.3deg descent angle corresponds with an 800 feet/min rate of descent. The Vosges mountains near Strasbourg were in clouds above 2000 feet, with tops of the layer reaching about 6400 feet when flight 148 started descending from ANDLO. At about 3nm from ANDLO the aircraft struck trees and impacted a 2710 feet high ridge at the 2620 feet level near Mt. Saint-Odile. Because the aircraft was not GPWS-equipped, the crew were not warned.
As a result of this accident Airbus made some design improvements to the FCU giving the digital VS mode read-out 4 digits and the FPA read-out just 2. Furthermore, 34 safety recommendations were issued by the French BEA.