Flight 296 Air France
The flight 296 Air France , is a flight of demonstration of the Airbus A320 which took place on June 26th 1988 which was crushed at the time of an air meeting with Habsheim in the south of the Alsace.
AccidentThe plane in source and bound for the airport of Basle-Mulhouse, A320 F-GFKC of Air France presents left trains, at low speed and low altitude (100 feet) for a presentation at the time of an air meeting to the top of the aerodrome of Habsheim (close to Mulhouse). In addition to the 6 team members, it transports 130 passengers for this short flight of demonstration, some journalists and of the people making a first flight on this new generation of apparatuses of Airbus. The plane cannot go around and the back of the plane hangs the summit of the trees and is crushed in the forest in end of track. Many witnesses, present at the meeting, filmed the scene. The accident causes the death of 3 people, all three passengers, and wounds a hundred others of it. Two of the died passengers, a tetraplegic young person and a young girl seem to be remained blocked in the carcass of the plane and to be dead in the fire which followed a few minutes later as well as a third anybody come to carry help to them.
Video of the crash landing click here
InquireThe official report of investigation will conclude that the causes of the accident are:
- a very low altitude of passage, lower than the surrounding obstacles
- Speed very low and reduced to the maximum to obtain the maximum angle of attack
- Output engine on the mode cruising
- Delay in the go-around.
Combination of these factors leading to the impact of the plane on the summit of the trees and to the crash landing. The board of inquiry thinks that the descent under the 100 feet (approximately 30 meters) was not deliberated but resulted from not taken into account from the visual informations and sound suitable to give the altitude of the apparatus.
The commander Michel Asseline, 44 years, his Mazière copilot, 45 years, both pilots with Air France, and chair it organizing club of the meeting, shown homicides and wounds involuntary were recognized as responsible. Michel Asseline was condemned to 6 months of imprisonment and 12 months with deferment, the two others at suspended sentence.
The polemicMichel Asseline estimates to have been wrongfully marked. In support of this thesis, he had affirmed that the plane had not answered when he had gone around. He also states that the altimeter indicated 100 feet whereas the vidéos crash landing show that the apparatus is with approximately 30 feet (10 meters) of the ground. However Airbus industry had announced to Air France the previous month in an official bulletin ( Operational Engineering Bulletins ) which it was possible to encounter these 2 problems and this bulletin at the time did not seem to be communicated to the pilots.
- OEB 19/1 : Deficiency of the acceleration of the engines at low altitude. This bulletin notes that the engines can not react immediately to thorough of the throttle levers at low altitude.
- OEB 06/2 : Control cross barometric instruments. This bulletin indicates that the barometric indicator of altitude of A320 does not function always correctly.
The investigation was entâchée of irregularities, in particular:
- both block boxes, found intact the day of the accident and preserved by the Head office of the Civil aviation were given to the police force only ten days later, having been obviously opened and comprising 8 seconds of “white” at the time of the impact,
- the trees of the forest, surrounding the place of the crash landing, were promptly cut in the days which followed.
The people contradicting the official investigation estimate that the fact that the A320, plane of new design, marketed this year and announced there as being surest plane the “of the world”, exploited this investigation.
Norbert Jacquet, pilot on Boeing 747 with Air France, creates, at the time, a trade union independent of the National union of airline pilots (SNPL), to make more transparent the course of the investigation. He will blame the design and the certification of A320. Put at foot by its company for " psychiatric reasons " , it loses its license of pilot definitively and will write in 1994 (after the accident of the Mount Saint-Odile) a book to denounce what it calls a “ lie of state ”.
In 1990, the Minister for transport will carry felt sorry for against him and Michel Asseline will carry felt sorry for slandering.
In spite of this accident and the polemic which followed, A320 was a great business success for Airbus.
|Random links:||Death in the skin | The Majordomo | Roger Lorin | Jan Johnston | House of cards | Bansko|