Spanair defends its preflight safety procedures

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- The Spanish airline Spanair is defending its preflight safety checks following claims by investigators that the crew involved in last month's deadly crash tried to take off without extending the plane's wing flaps.

A preliminary report claims the pilots of the MD-82 that crashed during takeoff in Madrid were unaware the flaps hadn't deployed because a cockpit alarm failed to sound.

The moveable panels on the trailing edge of a wing provide extra lift during takeoff.

A Spanair official says company policy is to check the flaps three times before every flight. But he wasn't able to say if the policy was followed before the August 20th disaster.

One-hundred-fifty-four people died in the crash.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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