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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 197213
Last updated: 8 February 2021
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Time:16:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PIVI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pipistrel Virus 912
Registration: 17-YO
C/n / msn: 577SW100
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ultralight base of St-Estèphe, Médoc, Gironde -   France
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Ultralight base of St-Estèphe
Destination airport:La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime
Investigating agency: BEA
The accident took place while both victims overflew the airfield one last time for their friends on the ground. The aircraft eventually nosed down and impacted terrain. A post-impact fire consumed the wreckage. Both occupants, a 71 year old man (an experienced pilot), and a woman perished in the accident.

The pilot decided to return to the ultralight airfield in order to greet friends who had stayed behind. To do this, he flew over the runway at low height and high speed.
The collision with the ground occurred during this passage. Among the explanations of this path deviation are:
- a loss of pitch control directly related to the vibration phenomenon similar to flutter, which was observed by the witnesses ;
- a failure of a component of the aircraft as a result of this flutter;
- a failure of a component of the aircraft as a result of the load factor reached at a speed most likely greater than the manoeuvring speed at the time the resource appears to have been initiated.
The appearance of a flutter-like phenomenon during the overflight of the runway could have precipitated an action to be pitched up by the pilot.
The condition of the wreckage after the fire did not confirm or refute the hypothesis of in-flight failure.
Assuming that the ultralight was of sufficient integrity to do so, the low height of the overflight did not allow the pilot to regain control of the ultralight or activate his rescue parachute before he hit the ground.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

07-Aug-2017 18:01 Iceman 29 Added
07-Aug-2017 19:11 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Source, Narrative, Photo, ]
08-Aug-2017 08:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
08-Aug-2017 19:35 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
08-Aug-2017 21:25 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
09-Aug-2017 06:25 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Embed code]
25-Aug-2017 09:36 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Source]
14-Aug-2018 18:01 harro Updated [Cn, Narrative]
14-Aug-2018 18:02 harro Updated [Phase]

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