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Last updated: 13 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Friday 18 November 1988
Time:06:31
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II
Operator:Air Littoral
Registration: F-GCPG
C/n / msn: TC-334E
First flight: 1980
Total airframe hrs:10346
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-3UW-303G
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Montluçon-Guéret (Lepaud) Airport (MCU) (   France)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Montluçon-Guéret (Lepaud) Airport (MCU/LFBK), France
Destination airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Flightnumber: 440
Narrative:
It was still dark outside when Air Littoral flight 440 received clearance to taxi to runway 35 for its early morning flight to Paris. The first officer was pilot flying on this leg. Six minutes later, at 06:31, the throttles were advanced and the Metro II started the takeoff roll. Shortly after lifting off the runway, the nose pitched down. The Metro II descended and contacted the ground again 600 m past the runway end and continued through bushes, eventually catching fire. It appears that the Stall Avoidance System (SAS) had activated, resulting in the stick pusher activation at a critical altitude. The Metro's SAS system, as well as the SAS system on this particular aircraft, had a history of problems. These problems resulted in several NTSB Safety Recommendations (A-84-66, A-88-154).

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident resulted from a reduction in the attitude of the airplane causing a downward trajectory in the moments that followed the takeoff. It is likely that this decrease in attitude is due to an untimely triggering of the stick pusher.
The absence of a recorder and the complete destruction of the SAS (apart from angle of attack vane and its transmitter) did not prove this hypothesis. With or without inadvertent triggering of the stick pusher, the imprecision of the right horizon and the absence of external visual references played an important role in this accident."

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» Rapport final sur l'accident survenu le 18 november 1988 près de l'aerodrome de Montlucon-Guéret (23) au Swearingen Metro II immatriculé F-GCPG de la compagnie Air Littoral


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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 Montluçon-Guéret (Lepaud) Airport to Paris-Orly Airport as the crow flies is 276 km (173 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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