In a preliminary report about a near-disastrous Fokker 100 take-off incident, French accident investigators reveal the captain almost lost control of the aircraft just after unstick, the aircraft failed to gain height and crashed through the boundary fence.

The 25 January flight to Paris from Pau airport in south-western France was operated by Air France subsidiary Régional Airlines. The crew was attempting take-off from runway 13 in intermittent light snow with the temperature close to freezing.

Although investigators from the French air accidents investigation agency BEA note the co-pilot commented on "sparrows" passing the aircraft during the take-off run, they say they have found no evidence of a birdstrike in either of the two Rolls-Royce Tay 650 engines and it remains uncertain why the aircraft crashed.

The crew did not request de-icing before taxiing but, the BEA notes, neither did four out of five crews of other aircraft that departed from the airport in the preceding 40min.

Fokker 100 Regional 
© Empics   

The Fokker 100 came to rest in a field after colliding with a truck

A truck driver on a public road just outside the airport was killed when the aircraft, operating flight AF7775 to Paris, struck his vehicle. The 50 passengers and four crew on board the aircraft were unhurt.

The aircraft lifted off at 144kt (266km/h), but almost immediately banked left up to 35º. The captain used stick and rudder to counter the movement, but the aircraft then banked as far as 67º to the right, and finally 59º left. The maximum height reached was 107ft with a 17º angle of attack.

With the captain still struggling to control it, the aircraft touched down on the right-hand gear to the right of the runway, bounced airborne again, before careering through the airfield boundary, thrust-reversers deployed, and coming to a halt in a field after its left-hand main-gear had struck the cabin of the truck.

The voice and data recorders worked well, says the BEA, but they have yet to find the cause. They say there was no "smell, debris, or marks" to indicate a birdstrike to either engine.


Source: Flight International