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A Pilatus lost a wing

Yesterday a very unsual accident happened in Belgium, killing 11 people. Confusion still in the reports I heard. The aircraft was used to drop parachutists and is said to have lost one wing 10 minutes after take-off. But the same reports say that 3 divers tried to jump out of the aircraft and were too low for the chutes to open and therefore were also killed. Seems inconsistent with the 10mn. Why would it have been so low 10mn after take off?

Have you heard something more accurate? Do you know how such an aircraft can loose a wing apart from a very brutal ressource?

SE France

Of course I do not know whether it was the cause of the wing failure, but there is a EASA AD 2007-0241R4 ref. to Wing Strut Fitting - Inspection / Replacement

Findings of corrosion, wear and cracks in the upper wing strut fittings on some PC-6 aircraft have been reported in the past. It is possible that the spherical bearing of the wing strut fittings installed in the underwing can be loose in the fitting or cannot rotate because of corrosion. In this condition, the joint cannot function as designed and fatigue cracks may then develop. Undetected cracks, wear and/or corrosion in this area could cause failure of the upper attachment fitting, leading to failure of the wing structure and subsequent loss of control of the aircraft.

EDxx, Germany

Whether this is a contributing factor will be seen from the official investigation. No speculation, please, not here!

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

mentioning an AD is no speculation. Read my introduction.

EDxx, Germany

I did read your introduction. I read "I do not know ... &c". Why mention facts of unknown relevance? That's tabloid writing.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I think in this case it is obvious that since wings don't just fall off, this must (on a proper plane like a Pilatus) be either a high speed flight into a CB or similar, or some really aggressive flying, or a structural defect.

I would think the first two would be untypical of this type of operation especially at low level.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Realising the danger of speculation, especially after my own fulminating, here and elsewhere, I can't help myself wondering...

Why would it have been so low 10mn after take off?

At my former homefield of EBHN Hoevenen, the turbo-powered C206 paradropper took some 15 minutes to its ultimate altitude of +/- 14000'. So this is a most pertinent question.

Seeing that the flight was a birthday present to one of the 10 passengers, and that the crash location is at least 12 kms distant from the aerodrome - point of departure and of destination for the plane and for the parajumpers - and not in the direction of the prevalent winds, and across the major highway E411, and close to the draughty Meuse valley, I can imagine a possible scenario - but of course I will say no more.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Over at the wrinkled plum there are reports of the wing coming off around FL 100. Hardly low level.....


EGPD / OMDW / YPJT, United Kingdom
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