French pilot: 6 months suspended sentence in accident case

January 11, 2012

A French pilot was received a six months suspended sentence for causing an accident in Pau, France that killed one man on the ground.

On January 25, 2007 a Fokker 100 passenger jet, operated by French carrier Régional, overshot the end of the runway at Pau following an aborted takeoff. Upon crossing a road, the left main landing gear struck the cabin of a truck, killing the driver.

The BEA investigation concluded that “the accident resulted from a loss of control caused by the presence of ice contamination on the surface of the wings associated with insufficient consideration of the weather during the stopover, and by the rapid rotation pitch, a reflex reaction to a flight of birds.” BEA also noted as one of the contributing factors, that there was “limited awareness within the [French] aviation community regarding the risks associated with the icing on the ground and changes in the performance of the aircraft involved in this phenomenon”.

The pilot in command of the flight was being charged with  homicide and unintentional injuries. A criminal court in Pau decided on a six months suspended sentence and a 20.000 Euro fine for the airline.

Source: Sud-Ouest (3-1-2012)

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Report: Boeing 737-800 struck runway construction markers on takeoff at Paris-CDG

August 30, 2011

Take-off trajectory of AMV6104 (source: BEA)

The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) released the final report of their investigation into a serious incident in which a Boeing 737-800 struck runway construction markers on takeoff from Paris-CDG, France.

On August 17, 2008 at 00:57 local time, AMC Airlines Flight AMV6104 struck some provisional lights at the end  runway 27L at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Then, during the rotation, it destroyed some markers on the safety-barrier positioned in front of the construction zone. It took off before a provisional blast fence and continued its flight to its destination.
Repair works on runway 09R/27L were in progress between 4 and 20 August 2008. During this period, the last 1,240 metres of runway  27L were closed for flight operations. The AMC Airlines Boeing 737 commenced takeoff from after lining up from taxiway Y11, leaving 2360 metres for takeoff. This was reported to the crew by ground controller.

The crew had calculated takeoff parameters using a computer program, but the takeoff distance calculated by the program was not known to the crew.

BEA Concluded that:
The event was caused by the crew’s failure to take into account the length of the runway available for takeoff.
The following factors may have contributed to the event:

  • ˆ the inadequacy of the OPT utilisation procedures set up by the operator AMC to prevent such an error;
  • ˆ the impaired level of crew performance, specifically related to the pilots’ fatigue.
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