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Last updated: 14 January 2011
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Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Central African Republic
Congo (former Zaire)
Northern Mariana Islands
Papua New Guinea
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Sao Tome and Principe
St. Kitts and Nevis
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands
Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Pushback / towing
Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Demo, Airshow, Display
Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Int`l Non Scheduled Passenger
International Scheduled Passenger
Non Scheduled Passenger
if known, just IATA or ICAO code
if known, just IATA or ICAO code
Damaged beyond repair
An Aero L-39C Albatros jet of the Breitling Jet Team (ES-YLS #2) crashed in a field near Valkenswaard, the Netherlands after both pilots had ejected following engine problems. The Breitling Jet Team formation was flying to Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium after participating at the Heldair Air show at Den Helder, the Netherlands. The team was due to perform a display at the Sanicole Air Show the next day. The crew of ES-YLS, consisting of the pilot, seated in the front of the aircraft and the mechanic, seated in the rear, both felt engine vibrations, which became increasingly powerful. After a few seconds, the crew smelled a burning odour. Approximately 20 seconds later, the pilot received a general fault warning. The warning light indicating that the engine vibrations were exceeding the safety threshold engaged, and oil pressure started to drop. The pilot notified the other members of the formation that he was experiencing engine problems. Soon after, he heard an explosion after which engine power started to drop. After having received a notification from one of the other formation pilots that flames were coming out of the aircraft's exhaust, the pilot shut off the fuel supply after which the engine switched off. The pilot then activated the fire extinguisher in order to extinguish any potential engine fires. In view of the fact that the aircraft was now too far from Kleine Brogel air base and there was no other airport in the vicinity, the pilot decided that he and the mechanic would have to evacuate using the ejection seats. He then steered the aircraft to a vacant area. At an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet, the mechanic then ejected from the aircraft followed by the pilot. The aircraft crashed in a potato field and was entirely destroyed. The two occupants landed on the ground near the crashed aircraft. The accident was the result of an engine malfunction caused by a failure of the low pressure turbine front bearing. The bearing failure was probably caused by hydraulic fluid entering the engine oil system or abnormal fouling of the engine oil caused by deposits. For engine maintenance procedures the qualitative assessment of the particles in the engine oil, as described in the engine maintenance manual, did not take place. Such an additional assessment should have given a better picture of the oil status. The oil status was especially assessed on the status of the magnetic plug of the overheat and chip detector and on quantitative parameters for particles, for which no written procedures and references existed in the laboratory that performed the analyses, nor with the operator. As such, the outcome of the analyses could not be valued for this engine. The classification of the fluid status was only based on the fact that the oil must be clear. The aviation company took measures, as advised by the laboratory and continued the flight operation with ES-YLS. The Dutch Safety Board is of the opinion that the operator did not take full opportunity to establish that a normal engine operation was guaranteed. This Aero Vodochody L-39C does not have to comply with European safety level requirements for civil aviation aircraft. As a consequence different standards and practises for maintenance and airworthiness may be applied. This is undesirable according to the Dutch Safety Board. The lack of adequate oversight in combination with the lack of airworthiness requirements similar to those applied to civil aviation aircraft, may result in potentially unsafe operations .
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