Region

Crash of a Beechcraft B200 Super King Air off Papeete

Date & Time: Apr 16, 2004 at 1450 LT
Operator:
Registration:
F-OHJL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Papeete - Papeete
MSN:
BB-1592
YOM:
1997
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Papeete-Faaa on a local post maintenance flight with one engineer and one pilot on board. Shortly after takeoff, while in initial climb, the pilot informed ATC about control problems and elected to return. Unable to maintain control, he decided to ditch the aircraft few hundred metres offshore. The aircraft sank by a depth of 21 metres and both occupants were able to swim to shore.

Crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 Marquise off Papeete: 5 killed

Date & Time: May 27, 1994 at 2354 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
F-GDHV
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Rarotonga - Papeete
MSN:
779
YOM:
1980
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The aircraft was completing an ambulance flight from Rarotonga (Cook Islands) to Tahiti, carrying to Australian patients, two doctors and one pilot. On final approach to Papeete-Faaa Airport runway 04 by night, the twin engine aircraft descended too low and crashed in the sea about 6,4 km short of runway. The pilot did not send any distress call prior to impact and the aircraft struck the water surface in a flat attitude. All five occupants were killed. For unknown reasons, the pilot failed to realize his altitude was insufficient on short final. The lack of visibility and visual references were considered as contributing factors.

Crash of a Dornier DO228-212 off Nuka Hiva: 10 killed

Date & Time: Apr 18, 1991 at 1156 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-OHAB
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Hiva Oa - Nuku Hiva
MSN:
8196
YOM:
1990
Flight number:
VT805
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
20
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Captain / Total flying hours:
8115
Captain / Total hours on type:
112.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
4766
Copilot / Total hours on type:
95
Aircraft flight hours:
634
Circumstances:
On final approach to Nuku Hiva Airport runway 06, at an altitude of about 2,000 feet, the left engine failed. The crew decided to perform an approach to runway 24 when on final, the captain ditched the aircraft few dozen meters offshore. The impact was relatively violent and 10 occupants were killed, among them the captain. All 12 other occupants were injured, some seriously.
Probable cause:
The accident resulted from a series of inappropriate actions by the crew, facing a mechanical failure of an engine which alone should never have led to this outcome. Among the factors explaining this below-average performance of the crew, the inquiry committee noted:
- The influence of a possible levels of alcohol of the crew members;
- A lack of rigor in the type rating qualifying of the crew;
- Omissions in the Operations Manual (no division of tasks in some occasional or emergency situations);
- Deficiencies in the company's technical control of the state of the aircraft.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 441 Conquest II off Papeete: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 5, 1990
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
F-ODUK
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Papeete - Maupiti
MSN:
441-0270
YOM:
1983
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft departed Papeete-Faaa Airport on an ambulance flight to Maupiti, carrying two doctors and one pilot. After takeoff, while climbing by night, the pilot informed ATC about minor problems with the engine but preferred to return for a safe landing. On final approach, the aircraft went out of control and crashed in the sea few km from the airport. All three occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, it was dark but weather conditions were excellent.

Crash of a Boeing 707-321B off Papeete: 78 killed

Date & Time: Jul 22, 1973 at 2206 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N417PA
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Auckland - Papeete - Los Angeles
MSN:
18959/470
YOM:
1966
Flight number:
PA816
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
10
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
69
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
78
Captain / Total flying hours:
25275
Captain / Total hours on type:
8384.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
21575
Copilot / Total hours on type:
9248
Aircraft flight hours:
27314
Circumstances:
The airplane was completing a internationaal service from Auckland to Los Angeles with an intermediate stop in Papeete, Tahiti. After a night takeoff from Papeete-Faaa Airport runway 04, while climbing to a height of 300 feet, the pilot-in-command initiated a turn to the left according to departure procedures. Then the aircraft entered a left banked, lost altitude and crashed into the sea about 3 km offshore. Few debris were found floating on water and one passenger was evacuated while all 78 other occupants were killed. The aircraft sank by a depth of about 700 meters and both CVR and FDR were not found.
Probable cause:
Due to lack of evidences, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. However, it is considered possible that the loss of control during initial climb was the consequence of an instrument failure that may have diverted the crew's attention. As the accident occurred by night over the sea, there were no visual references available and the assumption that the pilot-in-command may have suffered a spatial disorientation was not ruled out.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing C-135F Stratotanker off Hao Island: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jun 30, 1972 at 0510 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
38473/F-UKCD
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Hao - Hao
MSN:
18682/C004
YOM:
1964
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The four engine airplane departed Hao Island Airport runway 12 at 0500LT for a weather reports mission of seven hours and 40 minutes. During initial climb, both right engines n°3 & 4 lost power simultaneously. The pilot-in-command was able to complete a low pass over the airport before the airplane went out of control and crashed into the sea few hundred meters offshore. The aircraft was destroyed and all six occupants were killed.
Crew:
Cdt Dugué, pilot,
Lt Frugier, copilot,
Cpt Parage, navigator,
Adj Hecq, refueling operator.
Passengers:
- Adj Langlais, weather specialist,
1st Mst Saucillon, weather specialist.
Probable cause:
It is believed that the loss of power on both right engines was the consequence of a bleed valve failure. Nevertheless, investigations revealed several engine problems on other aircraft operated in the area, probably due to an excessive exposure to a salty environment.

Crash of a Cessna 411 off Hao Island: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jun 5, 1971
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
7/F-RBQD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
411-0251
YOM:
1967
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances into the Ocean few hundred yards off shore while flying by night. All three occupants were killed. The mission was conducted on behalf of the Groupe aérien mixte (GAM).
Crew:
Lt Col Desplas,
Cdt Lacrouts,
Lt Col Lalanne.

Crash of a Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina off Raiatea: 15 killed

Date & Time: Feb 19, 1958 at 1200 LT
Operator:
Registration:
F-AOVV
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Papeete – Raiatea – Bora Bora
MSN:
296
YOM:
1941
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
23
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
15
Captain / Total hours on type:
36.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
6600
Copilot / Total hours on type:
91
Aircraft flight hours:
2277
Circumstances:
The approach to Raiatea lagoon was performed in good weather conditions with a grey ceiling (altostratus) and several fractocumulus at 400 meters, good visibility. No wind and no waves on the sea gaves a very calm lagoon. While completing a last turn to the right to align to the landing area (seaplane base), the right wing tip struck the water surface. The airplane cartwheeled and crashed into the sea about 1,400 meters short of landing point. Eleven passengers were injured while 15 other occupants, among them all three crew members, were killed. The airplane sank by a depth of 36 meters ten minutes later.
Probable cause:
The combination of an uniformly gray sky (altostratus clouds across the region and some fractocumulus at 400 meters), the absence of wind and the absence of lines on a gray and smooth lagoon created favorable conditions for an illusion and made it difficult to assess the exact height above the water level during the most difficult operation of the flight, the water landing. The evidence indicates that no maneuver was initiated to change the nose down attitude. The pilot did not see the water. Although there was no wind, the windsock had previously stopped in a position that prompted the pilot to land facing the NW which is used once in twenty at Raiatea. In addition, the sun , even through the altrostratus could be annoying; facing the NW, the pilot had the sun three quarter from the rear. Note that during the landing opposite the NW, the lap is necessarily right to avoid overflying the city and land. Vertical visibility of the first pilot during a right turn is poorer. Finally, the slight correction of alignment by the pilot resulted the right wing striking the water at too low altitude.
Final Report: