Crash of an Airbus A320-211 near Prads-Haute-Bléone: 150 killed

Date & Time: Mar 24, 2015 at 1041 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
D-AIPX
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Barcelona – Düsseldorf
MSN:
147
YOM:
1990
Flight number:
4U9525
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
144
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
150
Captain / Total flying hours:
6763
Captain / Total hours on type:
3811.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
919
Copilot / Total hours on type:
540
Aircraft flight hours:
58313
Aircraft flight cycles:
46748
Circumstances:
The aircraft left Barcelona at 1000LT on a scheduled flight to Düsseldorf (flight 4U9525/GWI18G). At 1032LT, one minute after reaching its assigned cruising altitude of 38,000 feet near Toulon (level off), the aircraft started to lose altitude and continued a straight in descent during nine minutes, until it reached the altitude of 6,800 feet. It was later confirmed that no distress call was sent by the crew. Radar contact was lost at a height of 6,800 feet at 1041LT when the aircraft hit a mountain slope located near Prads-Haute-Bléone, northeast of Digne-les-Bains. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were considered as good with no storm activity, reasonable wind component and no turbulence. The crash site was reached by first rescuers in the afternoon and the aircraft disintegrated on impact. None of the 150 occupants survived the crash. The second black box (DFDR) was found on April 2, nine days after the accident.
Probable cause:
The collision with the ground was due to the deliberate and planned action of the copilot who decided to commit suicide while alone in the cockpit. The process for medical certification of pilots, in particular self-reporting in case of decrease in medical fitness between two periodic medical evaluations, did not succeed in preventing the copilot, who was experiencing mental disorder with psychotic symptoms, from exercising the privilege of his licence. The following factors may have contributed to the failure of this principle:
-ˆ the copilot’s probable fear of losing his ability to fly as a professional pilot if he had reported his decrease in medical fitness to an AME,
-ˆ the potential financial consequences generated by the lack of specific insurance covering the risks of loss of income in case of unfitness to fly,
- the lack of clear guidelines in German regulations on when a threat to public safety outweighs the requirements of medical confidentiality.
Security requirements led to cockpit doors designed to resist forcible intrusion by unauthorized persons. This made it impossible to enter the flight compartment before the aircraft impacted the terrain in the French Alps.
Final Report:

Crash of a Socata TBM-700 in Saint-Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 6, 2014 at 1030 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N129AG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Cannes – Courtrai
MSN:
171
YOM:
2000
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
3000
Captain / Total hours on type:
700.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1385
Aircraft flight cycles:
1219
Circumstances:
The single engine aircraft departed Cannes-Mandelieu Airport at 1040LT bound for Courtrai-Wevelgem Airport, Belgium, with four passengers and one pilot on board. About one hour and 40 minutes into the flight, while cruising in IMC conditions at FL240, the aircraft start a quick descent to the right until FL149. Speed increased and the overspeed warning sound came on. Forty-five seconds after the start of the quick descent, the airplane initiated a climb with a rate of 10,000 feet per minute until it stalled at FL201, still in IMC conditions. The airplane then entered a dive and went into a flat attitude when it went out of clouds at an altitude estimated between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. This altitude was insufficient to the pilot to regain control and without external visual references, he lost control of the airplane that crashed in a wooded area. The pilot and a passenger were killed while three other passengers were injured. The aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Due to the absence of any flight data recorder, investigations were unable to determine with certainty the exact cause and circumstances of the accident.
Final Report:

Crash of a Saab 2000 in Paris-Roissy-CDG

Date & Time: Jan 28, 2014 at 0731 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HB-IZG
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Leipzig – Paris
MSN:
010
YOM:
2
Flight number:
DWT250
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
16
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6640
Captain / Total hours on type:
2260.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
630
Copilot / Total hours on type:
80
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Leipzig, the crew started the descent to Paris-Roissy-CDG Airport runway 27R. At an altitude of 400 feet on approach, the automatic pilot system was deactivated. At an altitude of 200 feet, the decision height, the crew decided to continue the approach as the runway was in sight and the aircraft was stable. During the last segment, at a height of 50 feet, power levers were reduced to flight idle and the aircraft went into a nose up attitude (maximum value of 11°). Both main gears touched down at a speed of 120 knots but the aircraft bounced twice and went into a pitch down attitude, causing the nose gear to land first during the third touchdown. On impact, the nose gear collapsed and the aircraft slid for dozen yards before coming to rest. All 19 occupants were evacuated safely and the aircraft was later considered as damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
During the flare the captain detected that the landing would be hard and in an emergency action, he quickly pulled the nose up without announcing his intention to the first officer who was the pilot flying. This lack of coordination within the flight crew caused a double controls and successive and opposite actions on the flight controls during the bouncing management.
Final Report:

Crash of a Socata TBM-700 in Mouffy: 6 killed

Date & Time: Nov 19, 2013 at 1116 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N115KC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Annecy - Toussus-le-Noble
MSN:
239
YOM:
2002
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
1430
Circumstances:
The airplane departed Annecy-Meythet Airport at 1033LT on a flight to Toussus-le-Noble, carrying five passengers and one pilot. The flying time was approximately one hour under IFR mode. At 1111LT, while cruising at FL180 near Auxerre, heading to EBOMA, the pilot informed ATC he was ready for the descent. He was cleared to descend to FL120 when the aircraft started to drift to the left of the airway. Two minutes later, ATC informed the pilot about the deviation and the pilot acknowledged and initiated a turn to the right when control was lost. The airplane entered a dive and reached an excessive vertical speed until it crashed in an open field. The airplane disintegrated on impact and all six occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Investigation did not reveal any technical element that could have contributed to the accident. However, considering the fact that the aircraft was totally destroyed upon impact, it was not possible to carry out all the examinations generally carried out on a wreck. It is possible the aircraft was flying in moderate icing conditions. Investigation could not determine if the deicing systems were activated. However, analysis of the flight path shows that the cruising speed was stable until the descent, which tends to indicate an absence of icing of the aircraft in normal cruise. A rapid and heavy icing of the aircraft during the descent making the aircraft to be difficult to control seems unlikely given the icing conditions predicted by Météo France. Investigations were unable to determine the reasons for the loss of control. Maybe it occurred during an unusual situation or any failure. Whatever the reasons, the lack of experience of the pilot on TBM-700, especially in the absence of visual references, may increase his workload beyond his capabilities, not allowing him to regain control of the aircraft. Once the loss of control occurred, given the weather conditions, it is very likely that the pilot did not recover any visual references until the collision with the ground.
Final Report:

Mishap of a Fokker F27 Friendship 500F in Paris-Roissy-CDG

Date & Time: Oct 25, 2013 at 0120 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
I-MLVT
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Paris - Dole
MSN:
10373
YOM:
1968
Flight number:
MNL5921
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crew was performing a night postal flight from Paris-Roissy-CDG Airport to Dole-Jura Airport on behalf of Europe Airpost. Shortly after take off, while climbing to 1,000 feet, left propeller detached and impacted the left part of the fuselage, causing a large hole. Crew declared an emergency and landed safely less than ten minutes later. Aircraft was parked on apron, both pilots were unhurt but aircraft was later considered as damaged beyond repair. The propeller was found in an open field in Mesnil-Amelot, near the airport. Nobody on ground was injured.
Probable cause:
The initial examinations of the propeller blade revealed a fatigue failure on the retaining bolt. Furthermore, the propeller blade, when passing through the airplane’s fuselage, cut the electrical power supply cables to the flight recorders. As a result, no data from the event was recorded after the cables were cut. More detailed examinations will be undertaken on the propeller blade.

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Lyon-Bron: 4 killed

Date & Time: Sep 24, 2013 at 1045 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N556MB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Lyon - Aix-les-Milles
MSN:
421C-00468
YOM:
1978
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
579
Captain / Total hours on type:
3.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
410
Copilot / Total hours on type:
12
Aircraft flight hours:
3661
Circumstances:
After takeoff from runway 34 at Lyon-Bron Airport, while in initial climb at a height of 200 feet, the twin engine airplane deviated to the left, rolled to the left and then veered to the left with a low rate of climb. Shortly after passing the end of the runway, the airplane lost height then struck the ground and caught fire. The airplane was destroyed by a post crash fire and all four occupants were killed. For unknown reasons, the pilot-in-command was seating in the right seat.
Probable cause:
The accident probably occurred as a result of an asymmetrical flight starting from the rotation that the pilot was not able to control. As technical examinations and observations from the wreckage could not give any conclusive malfunction of the engines or systems, the initial cause is most likely an improper adjustment of the steering trim before takeoff. The poor experience of the pilot on this high powered and complex aircraft as well as the low height reached did not allow the pilot to understand and manage the situation quickly and avoid the loss of control.
Final Report: