ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A320-211 F-GJVG Grenouillet
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 12 February 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-211
Operator:Air France
Registration: F-GJVG
MSN: 270
First flight: 1991-11-14 (7 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:14425
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5A1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 163
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 169
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Grenouillet (   France)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Destination airport:Montpellier-Fréjorgues Airport (MPL/LFMT), France
At 15:36 the Airbus 320 contacted Montpellier approach and reported descending through FL140. The crew were told to continue to VOR Fréjorgues and descend to FL80. FL80 was reached at 15:39. At the same time a Grob G.103 glider plane (F-CGXB) was flying nearby at the same altitude. Both were on a collision course and the A.320 captain took avoiding action by banking to the right. The left wing of the Airbus collided with the Grob's horizontal stabilizer. Both aircraft managed to make a safe landing.

Probable Cause:

CAUSES PROBABLES: "L'abordage résulte de l'inadéquation du concept "voir et éviter", seul applicable dans cette partie de l'espace, compte tenu des caractéristiques actuelles de l'aviation. Plus spécifiquement, l'abordage s'est produit parce que :
- les occupants du G 103 n'ont pas vu l'A 320 sur leur travers gauche,
- l'équipage de l'A 320 a discerné trop tardivement le G 103 pour pouvoir, compte tenu de la vitesse de rapprochement des deux aéronefs et du temps
de détection et de réaction, en dépit de sa vigilance, réussir sa manoeuvre d'évitement."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: Report f-vg990212
Download report: Final report


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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 Paris-Orly Airport to Montpellier-Fréjorgues Airport as the crow flies is 581 km (363 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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