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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Monday 10 April 1989
Time:21:07
Type:Silhouette image of generic F27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild FH-227B
Operating for:Europe Aero Service - EAS
Leased from:Uni-Air International
Registration: F-GGDM
C/n / msn: 532
First flight: 1966
Total airframe hrs:27249
Cycles:39128
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Dart 532-7
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 22
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Léoncel (   France)
Crash site elevation: 1260 m (4134 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Destination airport:Valence-Chabeuil Airport (VAF/LFLU), France
Flightnumber: 602
Narrative:
EAS Flight 602 took off from Paris at 19:55 for a flight to Valance. The aircraft proceeded to Valence at FL130. At 20:43 the flight passed the Lespi intersection and continued on a 133deg heading to the VNE VOR. At 20:49 the aircraft was cleared to descend to FL70 and FL60 when approaching VNE VOR. At 20:56 the FH-227 passed the VNE VOR and was to head 178deg for Valence. The aircraft however continued on a 155deg heading. The heading was changed to 178deg at 21:04. At 21:07 the aircraft struck a mountain (Col de Tourniol) at 1260 m.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from original French language report): "The accident is the direct result of a navigational error. This error had the direct causes:
1) the display and use the VOR LSA instead of VNE;
2) an insufficiency in the mental representation of the path of the aircraft despite other available information.
Moreover, the lack of rigor in the division of work in their execution and in the mutual control are contributing factors.
The Committee also noted that the following facts have facilitated the development of a critical situation:
1) documentation of the crew used for navigation and organization of the dashboard of the plane could be sources of error,
2) the organization of the airspace in the region of Valence did not allow optimal use of existing radar;
3) the tasks of the crew were not defined by the operator;
4) the co-pilot had a moderate but significant blood alcohol level."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: Report f-dm890410
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Flightcrew member's alcohol, drug usage

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 262-AN/156 (102-109) Commission d'Enquete sur l'accident survenu le 10 avril 1989 pres de Valence, commune de Léoncel (26), à l'avion FH227, immatriculé F-GGDM, exploité par la compagnie Uni-Air International


Photos

photo of Fairchild FH-227B F-GGDM
Memorial on the top of the 'Col de Tourniol'
photo of Fairchild FH-227B F-GGDM
F-GGDM pictured here just three days before the accident.
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft
 

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Paris-Orly Airport to Valence-Chabeuil Airport as the crow flies is 464 km (290 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
languages: languages

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Fairchild FH-227

  • 78 built
  • 14th loss
  • 11th fatal accident
  • 9th worst accident (at the time)
  • 10th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 France
  • 27th worst accident (at the time)
  • 30th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile