Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II in Droue-sur-Drouette: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 4, 1997
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-GFBF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Toussus-le-Noble – Paris-Orly
MSN:
31-7620054
YOM:
1976
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, was descending to Paris-Orly in poor weather conditions when he informed ATC about control problems. The twin engine aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in a field. The pilot was killed.

Ground explosion of an Airbus A300B2-1C in Marseille: 7 killed

Date & Time: Dec 26, 1994 at 1700 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-GBEC
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Algiers - Paris
MSN:
104
YOM:
1980
Flight number:
AF8969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
163
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
On December 24, prior to departure from Algiers-Houari Boumediene Airport, four members of the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) hijacked the aircraft that remained parked there for two days. On December 26, the aircraft was flown to Marseille. After being parked there for few hours, the aircraft was stormed by French Police Forces. Few hand grenades exploded in the main cabin and the cockpit, causing serious damages to the aircraft. All four terrorists and three passengers were killed during the attack. Ten other people were injured.
Probable cause:
Damaged beyond repair by hand grenades after being hijacked by members of the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA).

Crash of a Fairchild-Hiller FH-227B near Léoncel: 22 killed

Date & Time: Apr 10, 1989 at 2107 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-GGDM
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Paris - Valence
MSN:
532
YOM:
1967
Flight number:
UAR5602
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
19
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
22
Captain / Total flying hours:
8970
Captain / Total hours on type:
577.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
15639
Aircraft flight hours:
27249
Aircraft flight cycles:
39128
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Paris-Orly, the crew was cleared to descend to FL070 at 2049LT then to FL060 at 2055LT. Then the crew was instructed to turn right to 178° to the VOR of Vienne but after passing VNE VOR, he followed a wrong track off 155°. At 2058LT, the crew was transferred from Lyon-Satolas Approach to Valence Approach with whom the radio contact was established 30 seconds later. The crew was cleared to descend to 3,500 feet for a specified arrival route Vienne - Valence. A right turn to 200° was initiated when, at a speed of 187 knots, the aircraft struck the vertical cliff of 'Pierre Chauve' (1,260 meters high) located near Léoncel. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 22 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident is the direct result of a navigational error. This error had the direct causes:
- The display and use the VOR LSA (Lyon-Satolas) instead of VNE (Vienne),
- An insufficiency in the mental representation of the path of the aircraft despite other available information.
Moreover, the lack of rigor in the division of work in their execution and in the mutual control are contributing factors.
The Committee also noted that the following facts have facilitated the development of a critical situation:
- Documentation of the crew used for navigation and organization of the dashboard of the plane could be sources of error,
- The organization of the airspace in the region of Valence did not allow optimal use of existing radar,
- The tasks of the crew were not defined by the operator,
- The copilot had a moderate but significant blood alcohol level.
Final Report:

Crash of a Swearingen SA226TC Metro II in Montluçon: 4 killed

Date & Time: Nov 18, 1988 at 0631 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-GCPG
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Montluçon - Paris
MSN:
TC-334E
YOM:
1980
Flight number:
FU440
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Aircraft flight hours:
10346
Circumstances:
Following a night takeoff at Montluçon-Guéret Airport, while in initial climb, the aircraft nosed down and struck the ground 600 meters past the runway end. It slid for few dozen meters, collided with bushes and eventually came to rest, bursting into flames. All four occupants were killed. It appears that the Stall Avoidance System (SAS) had activated, resulting in the stick pusher activation at a critical altitude. The Metro's SAS system, as well as the SAS system on this particular aircraft, had a history of problems. These problems resulted in several NTSB Safety Recommendations (A-84-66, A-88-154). The copilot was at controls at the time of the accident.
Crew:
Gérard Van Der Veecken, pilot,
Christian Rémondon, copilot.
Passengers:
Robert Aupetit,
Patrick Desdoit.
Probable cause:
The accident resulted from a reduction in the attitude of the airplane causing a downward trajectory in the moments that followed the takeoff. It is likely that this decrease in attitude is due to an untimely triggering of the stick pusher. The absence of a recorder and the complete destruction of the SAS (apart from angle of attack vane and its transmitter) did not prove this hypothesis. With or without inadvertent triggering of the stick pusher, the imprecision of the right horizon and the absence of external visual references played an important role in this accident.

Crash of a Fairchild-Hiller FH-227B in Machault: 24 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 1988 at 0637 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-GCPS
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Nancy - Paris
MSN:
546
YOM:
1967
Flight number:
IJ5230
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
21
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
24
Captain / Total flying hours:
10226
Copilot / Total flying hours:
4431
Aircraft flight hours:
33142
Aircraft flight cycles:
55843
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Nancy-Essey Airport, the crew started the descent to Paris-Orly Airport and was cleared to reduce his altitude to 6,000 feet. At that time, weather conditions were marginal with poor visibility due to fog. Suddenly, the aircraft pitched down and entered an uncontrolled descent with a rate of 16,000 feet per minute during the last 20 seconds. Out of control, the aircraft struck the metallic pylon of a high voltage powerline and eventually crashed at an excessive speed of 630 km/h in an open field located in Machault, about 46 km southeast of Paris-Orly Airport. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 24 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the electrical system failed in flight while the crew was flying under IFR mode in IMC conditions. Technical analysis and investigations were unable to determine with certainty the exact cause of the loss of control and the fatal descent. After eliminating various assumptions invalidated by the established facts and findings and after reviewing the results of flight tests conducted at its request, the commission assigned higher probability to the hypothesis that the electrical fault caused a loss of attitude reference and autopilot disconnect which would have occurred while the aircraft was configured 'out of trim' in a nose down attitude. In the absence of independent standby horizon, the crew had no usable attitude reference immediately available while the aircraft was in a high-speed dive.
The following findings were reported:
- The loss of control occurred in icing conditions,
- A third person (non crew) aged 18 was seating in the cockpit at the time of the accident,
- The aircraft's speed upon impact was 100 km/h above the max allowable speed certification.