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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227823
Last updated: 22 December 2020
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Date:02-AUG-2019
Time:17:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S2T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Conair Turbo Firecat
Owner/operator:Sécurité Civile
Registration: F-ZBAA
C/n / msn: 456
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Générac, Gard -   France
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Nîmes-Garons Airport (FNI/LFTW)
Destination airport:Nîmes-Garons Airport (FNI/LFTW)
Investigating agency: BEA-É
Narrative:
The plane crashed while firefighting. The pilot (50) died in the crash.

3. CONCLUSION:
The event is a loss of control in flight during a forest firefighting mission.

3.1 Established elements useful in understanding the event
On Friday, August 2nd, only three operational Tracker drivers are available in Nîmes. One of them is planned to fly exceptionally in isolated aircraft.
The risk of fire in the Gard is very severe. The fire that broke out in the middle of the day in Générac is of a rare violence. In the afternoon, the flame front is wide. Nourished by plants of different kinds, it presents several contiguous fire sites creating a particular aerology. Pilots are unaware of the dangerous phenomena linked to the aerology around such an energetic fire, all the more so as there is no sharing of experience between pilots from different sectors.
To fight several concomitant fires, all water bomber aircraft are used. The isolated Tracker is used in the fire-fighting mission at Générac.
The pilot took off from Nîmes with the Tracker 22, still heavily loaded with fuel. After only a few minutes of flight, the pilot completed the reconnaissance tour. The aircraft was heavy, without the pilot being fully aware of it.
While at the limits of the flight envelope, the aircraft is upset by a strong lift as it passed close to the fire front. The left wing stalled. The pilot overcame the stall but struck the trees at the top of a hill where he probably did not perceive the terrain.
The GASC duty officer, in flight to coordinate the aerial activity on this fire, cannot act as a technical advisor to the ZOC on the choice of aircraft to send in GAAR or fight. He does not supervise the overall aerial activity.

3.2 Causes of the event
The following contributed to the event:
- GASC has a small resource of Tracker pilots;
- without a co-pilot, the pilot is deprived of the usual cross-checking of piloting decisions and actions;
- the pilot has little experience on established firefighting missions. He has never carried out a mission of this nature in a single-pilot aircraft;
- certain limitations of the flight envelope are unknown to pilots, particularly at high weight and in steep turns;
- pilots have little knowledge of the aerological phenomena associated with certain fires, and the associated turbulence;
- with the implementation of the Tracker withdrawal, pilots are concerned about their future within the GASC;
- fatigued from sustained activity, the pilot had a false understanding of the situation;
- the pilot suffered from overconfidence;
- the pilot did not perceive the terrain. He flew a little low as he approached the hill ;
- he adopted a trajectory very close to the flame front and did not anticipate the risk of turbulence;
- focused on a dwelling to protect, he did not detect the inappropriate altitude of his plane and maintained a strong bank;
- the left wing underwent a local stall causing a steep left bank, which caused the pilot to recover the aircraft too low in relation to the height of the trees, which he had a false idea of.

Sources:

https://www.lalsace.fr/faits-divers-justice/2019/08/02/gard-un-bombardier-d-eau-se-crash-en-intervenant-sur-un-incendie
http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/incendies-dans-le-gard-crash-d-un-bombardier-d-eau-en-intervention-02-08-2019-8127936.php
https://actu.fr/occitanie/generac_30128/gard-feu-foret-generac-crash-dun-bombardier-deau_26318232.html
http://www.marsaly.fr/fred/accident-du-tracker-22-quelques-commentaires/

2020: https://www.aerobuzz.fr/aviation-generale/laccident-du-tracker-t22-de-la-securite-civile-explique/

Data__________________________________
https://www.airliners.net/photo/France-Securite-Civile/Grumman-Conair-S-2T-Turbo-Firecat-G-89/2386002/L (photo)

BEA-é__________________________________

https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/588026/9987440/S-2019-09-A.pdf

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: BEA-É
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Download report: Final report

Media:


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Aug-2019 18:46 gerard57 Added
02-Aug-2019 18:59 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Source, Narrative]
02-Aug-2019 19:00 Aerossurance Updated [Registration, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
02-Aug-2019 19:01 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type]
02-Aug-2019 19:02 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Aug-2019 19:03 Aerossurance Updated [Cn]
02-Aug-2019 19:03 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
02-Aug-2019 19:18 harro Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code]
02-Aug-2019 19:50 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
02-Aug-2019 20:04 RobertMB Updated [Source]
02-Aug-2019 21:52 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Embed code]
02-Aug-2019 21:55 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Aug-2019 22:09 TB Updated [Aircraft type]
03-Aug-2019 23:12 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
04-Aug-2019 14:06 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
04-Aug-2019 17:59 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
05-Aug-2019 06:42 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
07-Aug-2019 18:36 Iceman 29 Updated [Source]
29-Aug-2019 16:55 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
30-Aug-2019 11:28 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
10-Jul-2020 18:51 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
10-Jul-2020 18:52 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
20-Jul-2020 12:10 harro Updated [Narrative, Accident report, ]

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