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Last updated: 23 June 2018
Datum:Montag 20 Februar 1989
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA226-AT Merlin IV
Fluggesellschaft:Dirac Aviation
Kennzeichen: F-GERP
Werknummer: AT-012
Baujahr: 1973
Triebwerk: 2 Garrett TPE331-3U-303G
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 2
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 2
Opfer des Zusammenstoßes:Todesopfer: 4
Sachschaden: schwer beschädigt
Konsequenzen: Repaired
Unfallort:nahe Castera-Lou (   Frankreich)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE/LFMN), Frankreich
Flug nach:Lourdes-Tarbes Ossun Lourdes Airport (LDE/LFBT), Frankreich
Flugnummer: 31
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."

» 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


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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).

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.
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