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Last updated: 28 February 2020
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Sunday 16 May 2010
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH3T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Vazar Turbine Otter
Operator:ArGo Airways
Registration: SX-ARO
C/n / msn: 397
First flight: 1960
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Biscarrosse/Parentis Seaplane Base (   France)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Arcachon/La Teste-de-Buch Airport (XAC/LFCH), France
Destination airport:Biscarrosse/Parentis SPB (LFBS), France
The float-equipped aircraft nosed down a water landing. The airplane participated at the 13e Rassemblement International d'Hydravions de Biscarrosse, a French seaplane meeting.
The Turbine Otter had refueled at Arcachon, France and departed the paved runway. After takeoff the pilot forgot to retract the wheels and prior to landing on the water he forgot to verify that the wheels were retracted.
Normally an aural and visual warning system activates when the wheels are still out when the airspeed drops below 70 mph. In this case the approach speed for the landing was 85 mph because of the wind conditions, so the system did not activate.
Furthermore, the pilot's attention was focused on the unexplained presence of floating foam near the landing zone. This foam came from a demonstration dump conducted by a Canadair aircraft shortly before the accident.


» Biscarrosse : un hydravion bascule à l'amerissage
» Biscarrosse 2010 : Un Single Otter s'écrase sur le lac


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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 Arcachon/La Teste-de-Buch Airport to Biscarrosse/Parentis SPB as the crow flies is 25 km (16 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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