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Another Alpine crash - near LOWZ, SR22 D-EPRB

From here, only in German. Airplane came from Germany, 3POB, father with two daughters. Father perished, the daughters (9 and 11 years) survived severely injured and were airlifted to a nearby hospital. Wx apparently appalling with fog, snow and rain. No info on a/c type. Very sad.

This is the sort of wx this morning, around the time of the crash. I am not very far away and there was heavy snow / rain.

Article PDF


FR24 track

LOWZ does have an instrument approach.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Very sad. If the press report is true that is right in the traffic pattern. When we fly there our G500 goes crazy in the pattern warning about terrain all the time. I would not want to land there without very good visibility of the whole valley. Better fly to Salzburg when in doubt and accept the rental car ride. Several times we had a trip planned in winter and every time there was bad visibility at the bottom of the valley.

Very sad to hear of this tragedy. My prayers go to the two girls.

WX around accident time (1400z?) at LOWS was moderate rain and broken clouds. LOWZ probably similar.

Webcam images from LOWZ


METAR/SPECI from LOWS, Salzburg-Flughafen (Austria).

SA 21/12/2019 15:50→
METAR LOWS 211550Z 20004KT 140V230 9999 -RA FEW007 SCT017 BKN025 04/03 Q0996 NOSIG=

SA 21/12/2019 15:30→

SA 21/12/2019 15:20→
METAR LOWS 211520Z 20004KT 170V230 9999 -RA FEW007 SCT017
BKN025 04/03 Q0996 RERA NOSIG=

SA 21/12/2019 15:00→

SA 21/12/2019 14:50→
METAR LOWS 211450Z VRB02KT 8000 RA FEW007 SCT017 BKN022 04/03
Q0996 TEMPO -RA=

SA 21/12/2019 14:30→

SA 21/12/2019 14:20→
METAR LOWS 211420Z 25006KT 8000 RA FEW006 SCT016 BKN022 05/03
Q0996 TEMPO -RA BKN012=

__SA 21/12/2019 13:50→ __
METAR LOWS 211350Z 26007KT 8000 RA FEW003 SCT015 BKN020 05/04
Q0995 TEMPO -RA BKN012

SA 21/12/2019 13:30→

SA 21/12/2019 13:20→
METAR LOWS 211320Z 29008KT 8000 RA FEW003 BKN012 BKN020 06/05
Q0995 TEMPO -RA FEW004 SCT012 BKN020=

SA 21/12/2019 13:00→

SA 21/12/2019 12:50→
METAR LOWS 211250Z 29007KT 6000 RA FEW003 BKN007 BKN015 06/05
Q0994 TEMPO -RA SCT007 BKN010=

SA 21/12/2019 12:30→

SA 21/12/2019 12:20→
METAR LOWS 211220Z 31008KT 6000 -RA FEW003 BKN007 BKN015
05/05 Q0994 TEMPO RA=

SA 21/12/2019 12:00→

Last Edited by Snoopy at 21 Dec 20:31
always learning
LO__, Austria

Looking at how the wreck deshaped, kudos to austrian rescue services (volunteer fire service) for getting the two kids out alive.

Austrian News:

Last Edited by Snoopy at 21 Dec 21:20
always learning
LO__, Austria

Does the existence of an IFR approach lure people into a false security? Without an IFR approach, I don´t think anyone would even get into that position as there is no way to descend into that valley under VFR in these conditions.

Apparently they flew the IFR approach and then attempted a circling where they collided with that hill.

Did that airplane, a GTX version of the SR22T, have stuff like synthetic vision in its G1000? Could that explain, why someone would try to fly a circuit under these conditions? I don´t think anyone would assume that they had the necessary visual clues to continue this approach after the MDA and MAP.

We can only pray that the two survivors will indeed survive this tragedy…

And I am starting to wonder wheather airports in such situations should not get the authority to actually CLOSE their airport in conditions where it is more than obvious that no legal flying can be done, declare QGO and be done with it. This approach with that minimum should never have been begun by this pilot, seeing the conditions. But an AFIS does not really have the authority to make that judgement, de facto neither has ATC but at least they are aware of the conditions. In Zell, apparently there are no METARS as well, I always thought they are a pre-condition for IFR approaches. This approach should never have been begun by that pilot, as the conditions were clearly below minimum.

It is tragic but is it really astonishing that this approach claims its first victim not long after it has been introduced? It makes me question the safety risk of such approaches into such terrain. I wonder how long it will be until other such accidents will happen in similar places which until the introduction of such approaches were simply unreachable under VFR. Obviously there were always people who think they are above all that, but maybe the deterrent of not flying into this kind of terrain in IMC has been reduced too much by the new gadgets such as synthetic vision and IFR approaches.

LSZH, Switzerland

@Mooney, I think you don’t quite grasp the concept of PIC. It’s not the airport’s role to tell a pilot what he/she is allowed to do. The criteria are spelled out in various publications and of course on the approach plates. This one clearly states ‘Visual approaches and visual circling NOT possible’. Which apparently is exactly what this pilot attempted. That said, looking at the plate and the location of the wreck, it’s also possible that he went missed and got it wrong.

As an aside, on US charts the circling prohibition is spelled out in somewhat stronger wording, i.e. circling NA = Not Authorized

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Did that airplane, a GTX version of the SR22T, have stuff like synthetic vision in its G1000? Could that explain, why someone would try to fly a circuit under these conditions?

Having flown the circuit at Zell with a fast airplane synthetic vision is of no real use as the angle visible in the display is far too narrow. You end up looking nearly over your shoulder while the 3D view gives you maybe 25 deg to either side.

So far the only thing known is the crash location, so an attempt to land at LOWZ is a given. According to the pictures it looks like there was no fire.

I’d really like to know the ADM for flying there in this weather, let alone with your most precious on board.

Synthetic vision is a toy. It’s not an IFR tool.

Last Edited by Snoopy at 22 Dec 01:19
always learning
LO__, Austria

For those who fly to LOWZ – how does one obtain the wx? I cannot find any METARs (let alone TAFs) for LOWZ. Using LOWS as substitute doesn’t work IMHO, as the wx can vary dramatically from one Alpine valley to the next.

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