Narrative:Dirac Aviation Flight 31 departed Nice for a regular flight without passengers to Tarbes. As the Merlin IV approached Tarbes, the crew received descent instructions at 15:55 the flight was cleared to descent to 2600 ft by Pau Approach and three minutes later the flight contacted Tarbes Approach Control. At that the same time a SOCATA TB-10 was flying near Tarbes. The airplane was on a navigational training flight from Pau to Tarbes. The airplane had overflown
Tarbes and was cleared for a circuit in preparation for a runway 02 approach. They left the Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ) at 16:00. A few minutes later they entered the ATZ again, but did not establish radio contact with the controller. At 16:04 both aircraft collided in midair. The TB-10 crashed and the Merlin crew were able to carry out a forced landing on one engine, with a destroyed windscreen and just one landing gear leg extended. The Merlin touched down near the runway and slid for 325 m before coming to rest.
Probable Cause:CAUSES PROBABLE: "La collision en vol des deux avions résulte de la pénétration, dans l'ATZ de Tarbes sans contact radio, à la même heure et à la même altitude que le Merlin F-GERP, du TB 10 F-GEVD, malgré l'information trafic qui lui avait été fournie. Par ailleurs la surveillance visuelle que les deux équipages étaient censés fournir ne leur a as permis de détecter l'autre avion."
Mid air collision
Forced landing outside airport
» Rapport final relatif a la collision en vol entre le TB 10 immatrcule F-GEVD et le Merlin IV immatricule F-GERP survenue le 20 fevrier 1989 a Tarbes (65) / Bureau Enquêtes-Accidents
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 Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport to Lourdes-Tarbes Ossun Lourdes Airport as the crow flies is 582 km (364 miles).