Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

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sn26567
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Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by sn26567 » 12 Oct 2009, 12:59

Two Belgians flying to Barcelona on board of a small plane lost their life in an accident last Friday (9 October). The plane crashed in the department of Cher, in the centre of France. One of the passengers was
Guy de Paeuw, administrator of hockey club Waterloo Ducks. He was going to Barcelona to attend a Euro League hockey game where his son Alex de Paeuw was playing for the Waterloo Ducks.

Guy de Paeuw also launched "Capital at work", a company specialised in international shares.
André
ex Sabena #26567

bollox
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by bollox » 12 Oct 2009, 18:42

According to Aviation Safety Network, they flew into high voltage lines...............

jan_olieslagers
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by jan_olieslagers » 12 Oct 2009, 20:33

bollox wrote:According to Aviation Safety Network, they flew into high voltage lines...............
You sure you're talking the same accident?
I'm afraid there were two crashes, one in the Cher department, the other in the Manche.
Should gladly learn more about both - and regret all victims, total of four ISTU. RIP.

airazurxtror
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by airazurxtror » 12 Oct 2009, 20:46

In the Manche, it's Cessna 177RG F-BVIM, according to this aviation website :
http://www.crash-aerien.com/forum/viewt ... 757#153757

jan_olieslagers
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by jan_olieslagers » 12 Oct 2009, 20:49

Thank you, this is the one I seemed to remember and is indeed reported to have flown into power lines.
Quite separate from the Belgians enroute to La Barca.

Captain Remi
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by Captain Remi » 13 Oct 2009, 15:00

Hi,
The plane en route to Barcelona was a Dyn'Aéro MCR pickup.
It is the ultralight (ULM) 2-seater version of Dyn'Aéro's 4-seater MCR4S (which is an airplane).
Basically, it is a stripped down MCR4S (with some design changes) which has a huge luggage space which can fit a bike or a matrass and has a very low empty weight, allowing for long distance cruising. Top speed is around 270km/h while stall speed still fits the ultralight range (< or = 65 km/h)
Even though MTOW is limited to 450 kg or 472,5 with parachute for legally being an ultralight, the composite plane is still designed like the airplane/ VLA version, so it can take quite a lot and is very sturdy.
Typically, the Rotax 912S engine with 100hp is used.

Guy flew in the same club as I and he owned two of these planes.
F-JZPB and F-JZLI. One built in 2006 and one in 2009 if I'm not mistaking.
It is a very tragic accident for which the causes are still unknown. As the pictures on the internet show a badly burned wreckage (almost nothing left of the carbon fibre plane), I'm very worried if they will ever know the exact cause....
For a plane to crash while cruising, instead of during the landing sequence is quite rare already...
The picture showed the parachute next to the plane so they must have activated the parachute at some point (unless it went off due to the fire?? it's all up to a lot of guessing...).
The plane is equiped with a parachute which can be deployed and brings down the entire plane with the occupants still on board... (some makers of these chutes are Galaxy, BRS,...)

The plane was registered in France as he flew a lot cross border for leisure, but was operated from Baisy-Thy (EBBY) near Waterloo. The type is also allowed by the Belgian ministry to be registered in Belgium as an ultralight.

I will always remember Guy as an extremely friendly person who always came to say hello to everyone in the club in the most warm way imaginable. It is a very tragic accident and it suprised and shook me a lot when I heard about it.

fencer
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by fencer » 13 Oct 2009, 21:01

Thanks Captain Remi,

Your information is one of the most complete I read on this issue. This plane seems to be on the safe side.
As far as I could read, the engine coughed, stopped and the airplane went down. With an experienced pilot and a stall speed at 65km/h, can please you tell what are potential reasons for such an aircraft to become uncontrollable and go down so fast?

Captain Remi
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by Captain Remi » 14 Oct 2009, 18:36

Hi fencer,

So I read as well in various articles on the internet.
What generally happens is that stories are spread verbally or on the net and change all the time when they pass from one person to the other.
I can actually tell from my own experience that there have been accidents/ mishaps in the past of which I knew more and heard rumours/ stories about which weren't coherent at all and were very different from the actual facts. Sadly enough, people tend to find plane crashes sensational news and sometimes change the story or create their own version to make it sound more interesting/ spectacular.
Occasionally, this happens unintentionally as well by matter of wrong judgement (we'll come to this possibility later on in this post).
Currently, the investigation is ongoing and will most certainly determine the exact cause of this unfortunate accident in due course.
I will try to give more insight in what might have happened based on the reliable accounts of fellow pilots, facts and my own experience without leaping ahead of the actual investigation.

Looking at the pictures, I would say the plane crashed in an agricultural area, in the middle of nowhere. This makes me doubt the actual presence of "eyewitnesses" or their reliability.
When a plane crashes on an airfield (f.i. during landing), there would be pilots or others alike present, who would be better positioned to judge the airplane's manoeuvres or descent, rather than witnesses without any aviation oriented background.
Following the account of one person, the plane would have been on fire in the air already, though this has been confirmed not to have been the case.
I would focus more on the accounts of some people who talk about the engine "coughing".

About the engine coughing... To the untrained ear, any sudden change in the engine noise produced by an airplane might already sound strange. An example would be the drop in RPM when a plane changes from cruising RPM to idle when starting the landing sequence. Someone who is just passing by might consider this to be an engine failure as the noise would drop drastically, if not completely.
The so called "coughing noise" in this case could be explained as the result of a spin. When you are visiting an airshow, you can also experience this phenomena. A plane that drops from the sky, straight down in a spin, would also produce this type of noise as at one point, you would hear the engine, then you wouldn't hear a thing, again you would hear the engine and so on...depending on the airplanes position to where you would be standing. Actually, this doesn't indicate an engine failure but is merely the result of a "trick" played by human hearing reception.
This brings us to the possibility of the plane having entered into a spin...

A spin would most likely occur when the pilot has become disoriented and initiated a turn.
Ultralight aircraft are strictly operated under VFR DAY conditions only so do not carry any equipment necessary to conduct flights under the IFR rules.
Even if the plane would have this equipement (f.i. an artificial horizon), the pilot would still lack the necessary training and experience in order to be capable to operate the plane under these conditions.
One would become disoriented when f.i. entering the clouds. In these circumstances, everything would become white around you, making it impossible to judge the plane's position compared to the horizon.
You could be hanging upside down without even noticing, as your eyes wouldn't be able to reception this, they wouldn't translate this correctly to your brain and you would even be unaware that the blood circulation would be going to your head. (when you place yourself upside down on a chair, you immediately feel the pressure of the blood circulation in your head due to your position, as your eyes would be able to "tell" you are sitting in an abnormal way, which they cannot if they cannot determine the horizon line)
This happens also when crossing vast areas of water (the English Channel, an Ocean,...). The horizon would tend to blend in with the water and everything would become blue, making it impossible to see if you were banking or not. Think of the Kennedy accident on this one...
So, if the pilot loses adequate sight, he might put the plane into a spin by making the wrong judgement/ control input or by overcorrecting a manoeuvre.
Under normal conditions, you would be able to recover from a spin, but without sight and/ or at low altitude, this is a different story of course.
The MCR has it's VNE as any other airplane does and the speed build-up in a steep spin dive is enormous.
When a plane enters in overspeed and goed beyond it's limits and load factors, it will always lead to tragedy.

As the radar images show (this has actually been confirmed) that the plane made a 180° turn, it might indicate that it entered less favourable meteorological/ sight conditions and that the pilot wanted to turn back, or divert to another aerodrome.
That's why the investigation will be focused more on human error and meteorological conditions at the time of the crash, and the possible direct link between both.

About the parachute... Today, I received a call from someone in the aeroclub who is a lot better placed than I am to judge these events, and who has first hand access to the investigation data.
He confirmed that the chute wasn't pulled in flight and that it had been found some 100m from the actual plane wreckage, as the pictures on the net also show it as no longer connected to the airframe wreckage.
This would mean that the rocket indeed went off after the crash and fire.
So, as a result of the crash and fire rather than linked to any event which occured prior to the impact.
Why do these planes carry chutes anyway? They are installed mainly to be used when the plane has become out of control, f.i. due to the loss of a wing following a collision with another airplane.
In any other circumstance, the pilot would not really activate this parachute, as he would still be able to control the flightpath of the plane and make an emergency landing.
When a pilot would experience an engine failure, he would attempt to perform an emergency landing in a field, as the plane is (like any type) capable of soaring while in control. Planes don't just drop from the sky, enter a stall or spin due to (complete or partial) loss of engine power.
Making emergency landings is also part of any form of pilot training...
Furthermore, the MCR designs are known to be stable, docile, manoeuvrable and have predictable responses to control input.

Sorry about this post having become so long. My aim is just to give a better insight and understanding on what the causes of this crash might have been, based on facts and own experience...
I'm confident that we'll soon know the exact causes of this crash following the outcome of the ongoing investigation, which will prove that the reasons will be a combination of multiple factors and events...

All the best

fencer
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by fencer » 14 Oct 2009, 21:38

Thank you Captain Remi,

Don't worry about the long answer, I was looking for experience and yours is very helpful indeed! When one is not familiar with a subject, it is difficult to trade-off the vast amount of information available on the web.
Again thank you.

airazurxtror
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by airazurxtror » 20 Oct 2009, 19:47

Guy de Paeuw obituary notice was in "Le Soir" this morning.
The place of the 9th october fatal crash is given as Argent-sur-Sauldre (France). He was 52.

teddybAIR
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Re: Two Belgians die in crash of small plane in France

Post by teddybAIR » 21 Oct 2009, 09:19

Hey Remi,

About flying in IMC while not IFR-rated...actually, one would perceive the negative g-pressures when hanging upside down in a cloud. The real problem arises when the airplane is constantly kept in a 1G maneuver. In such a situation, your perceived weight constantly equals your actual weight and the pressure of the maneuver pretty much keeps you in your seat as you would be on the ground. Thus, your eyes, equilibrium and kinestetic feel are all 'tricked' at the same time into believing that you are actually flying straight & level.

Today, in VFR training handbooks, a lot of emphasis is put on getting pilots to understand that on average it takes a non-IFR rated pilot less than 30 seconds to be completely disoriented in a cloud and be subject to the above effects. Even IFR pilots can get disoriented in flight when circumstances are unfortunate. The crew of china airlines flight 006 has been subject to this type of disorientation after they had already encountered an engine flame-out, dealt with extreme fatigue. The plane was only recovered after a massive loss of altitude and when breaking out of the clouds, and when the PIC was able to make out a clear natural horizon to get his orienation back. He then recovered the airplane in a matter of seconds.

Another example is Flash 604 which was a flight that took off over the ocean on a dark moonless night meaning that no horizon could be distinguished. After a few minutes into the flight, the PIC senced a constant turn and wanted to compensate for this. His disorientation ultimately resulted in the loss of life of all people on board.

I just give the above two examples to illustrate that your theory of VFR pilots getting stuck in IMC conditions could be proven to be very close to reality. Moreover, you say that radar images show a turn of 180°. If this turn was performed at rate 1, it would have lasted for a full minute. Under the hypothesis that this turn was made in IMC, 1 minute is sufficient to fool your entire equilibrium to believe that it is actually flying straight & level. If the plane than banks out of the turn, the pilot senses/perceives a turn in the opposite direction. If he compensates for this 'faulty' perception, he actually increases the bank angle and creates perfect conditions to enter in a spiral dive. The correct action to take as a pilot when entering a spiral dive is ao to close the throttle to idle (you said something about people perceiving the engine to cough) and gently pull out of the nose down attitude trying to prevent structural damage to the airframe since you are now probably flying in the yellow caution range of the airspeed tape.

I don't know the meteorological conditions that day at that location, but if cloud base was sufficiently low and with a spiral dive generating negative vertical speeds in the excess of a few thousands of feet per minute, the conditions are conductive to creating a situation that is irrecoverable, even for an experienced pilot.

Sorry for the speculation guys, but I just felt like giving my 2 cents on the subject (I'm feeling a little bored at work today).

Best regards,
bAIR

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