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Last updated: 27 January 2022
Date:Thursday 9 August 2007
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Air Moorea
Registration: F-OIQI
MSN: 608
First flight: 1979
Total airframe hrs:30833
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,5 km (0.9 mls) off Moorea-Temae Airport (MOZ) (   French Polynesia)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Moorea-Temae Airport (MOZ/NTTM), French Polynesia
Destination airport:Papeete-Faaa Airport (PPT/NTAA), French Polynesia
A DHC-6 Twin Otter operated by Air Moorea as flight 1121, departed Moorea-Temae Airport in French Polynesia.
After a normal takeoff, the flaps were retracted at around 350 feet. The pilot then lost pitch control of the aeroplane, which adopted a steep nose-down attitude. The pilot was unable to regain control of the aircraft and the Twin Otter struck the sea, broke up and sank.

Probable Cause:

The accident was caused by the loss of airplane pitch control following the failure, at low height, of the elevator pitch-up control cable at the time the flaps were retracted.
This failure was due to a sequence of the following:
- Large wear of a cable to the right of a rope guide;
- External phenomenon, probably jet blast, causing the rupture of several strands;
- Failure of the last strands as a result of strain during the flight when using the elevator.

The following factors contributed to the accident:
- The absence of information and training for pilots on the loss of pitch control;
- The operator´s omission of special inspections ;
- The failure by the manufacturer and the aviation authorities to fully take into account the wear phenomenon;
- The failure by the aviation authorities, airport authorities and operators risk to fully take into account the risks associated with jet blast;
- The rules for replacement of stainless steel cables on a calendar basis, without taking into account the activity of the airplane in relation to its type of operation.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: BEA f-qi070809
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

» Air Moorea plane crashes after Moorea takeoff; 14 bodies recovered (Tahitipresse 9-8-2007)
» Air Moorea Communique

Follow-up / safety actions

BEA issued 7 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-F-OIQI
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-F-OIQI
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-F-OIQI
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-F-OIQI
accident date: 09-08-2007
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
registration: F-OIQI

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 Moorea-Temae Airport to Papeete-Faaa Airport as the crow flies is 18 km (11 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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DHC-6 Twin Otter

  • 930+ built
  • 248th loss
  • 164th fatal accident
  • 9th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 French Polynesia
  • 2nd worst accident
» safety profile