Preliminary flight-recorder information shows that a Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne Fokker 100, which collided with a vehicle during an unsuccessful attempt to take off from Pau Béarn airport last month, suffered oscillations but no loss of engine thrust during departure.
The Fokker 100’s flight-recorder information shows that the jet, operating an Air France service to Paris on 25 January, accelerated normally to rotation velocity.
But immediately after lifting off it banked sharply left, then to the right, and then left again. The twin-engined aircraft lost altitude and, still travelling at 160kt (300km/h), bounced on the runway surface.
Its crew reduced engine thrust and the aircraft contacted the runway again. But the jet veered off the runway and passed to the right of a series of approach lights before breaching the airport’s perimeter fence and striking a vehicle on the road beyond, killing its driver.
French air accident investigation agency Bureau d'Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) has not given any clear explanation for the aircraft’s unstable behaviour, but says: “During the flight phase no loss of engine thrust was recorded.”
The Fokker came to rest in a field some 500m (1,640ft) beyond the road, losing both main landing gear assemblies in the process.
None of the 50 passengers and four crew members was injured. BEA says that the flight recorders have provided good data and the agency expects to release a preliminary report into the accident within a few weeks.