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Last updated: 18 October 2018
Status:Final
Date:Friday 4 March 1988
Time:07:37
Type:Silhouette image of generic F27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild FH-227B
Operator:Transport Aérien Transrégional - TAT
Registration: F-GCPS
C/n / msn: 546
First flight: 1967
Total airframe hrs:33142
Cycles:55843
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Dart 532-7
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Total:Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 23
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,6 km (1 mls) E of Machault (   France)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Nancy-Essey Airport (ENC/LFSN), France
Destination airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Flightnumber:IJ230
Narrative:
TAT Flight 230 departed Nancy, France, at 06:53 hours for Paris-Orly and climbed to a cruising altitude of FL140. At 07:26 the aircraft was cleared to descend to FL90 and later FL70. Approaching the MEL VOR, clearance was given to descend further to FL60. About 07:37 the aircraft entered a steep descent at a rate of 16000 ft/min. Twenty seconds later the aircraft struck power lines and impacted the ground.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from original French language report): Immediately after an electrical systems failure occurred in instrument weather conditions, the aircraft pitched nose down.
The Committee was unable to acquire any certainty as to the cause of this catastrophic descent.
After eliminating various assumptions invalidated by the established facts and findings and after reviewing the results of flight tests conducted at its request, the commission assigned higher probability to the hypothesis that the electrical fault caused a loss of attitude reference and autopilot disconnect which would have occurred while the aircraft was configured 'out of trim' in a nose down attitude.
In the absence of independent standby horizon, the crew had no usable attitude reference immediately available while the aircraft was in a high-speed dive.

Classification:

Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 260-AN/154 (1-11)
» Aérosteles : Lieux de mémoire aéronautique


Photos

photo of Fairchild FH-227B F-GCPS
photo of Fairchild FH-227B F-GCPS
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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 Nancy-Essey Airport to Paris-Orly Airport as the crow flies is 282 km (176 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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Fairchild FH-227

  • 78 built
  • 13th loss
  • 10th fatal accident
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
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 France
  • 24th worst accident (at the time)
  • 27th worst accident (currently)
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