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PA46 Malibu N264DB missing in the English Channel

Peter wrote:

the tail section looks clearly crumpled into the main hull.

It’s hard to tell, but it looks like it’s bent upwards which would point to a tail strike.

We can’t tell from that pic if the aircraft is intact, but we can see that the door is missing. If the forward section has seperated and only the rear fuselage actually discovered, that might explain the difficulty in finding the pilot.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

It’s a matter of probability. Controlled ditching, in pitch black dark night, with no outside reference, has a p. of very close to zero.

EDLN, Germany

An article in yesterday’s Sunday Times, linked on the Flyer site, describes the discovery of a ‘cross shape’ on the seabed and suggests that the aircraft is indeed intact. It is also less than complimentary toward AAIB.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

Must be this one.

The article Sala sent the message during the flight; actually he sent it on the ground at Nantes – as per Dimme’s post earlier in this thread.

But yes I am not surprised the AAIB didn’t want to get involved. The seabed down there has loads of planes; a lot of them going down with empty tanks to get the maximum value from the cheap fuel on Jersey…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Aveling wrote:

An article in yesterday’s Sunday Times, linked on the Flyer site, describes the discovery of a ‘cross shape’ on the seabed and suggests that the aircraft is indeed intact. It is also less than complimentary toward AAIB.

Are you referring to the quote to paraphrase in which the AAIB said they had no interest in a recovery operation and felt they had a pretty good idea as to the cause?

I am in two minds. I assume they are funded from the public purse. If they were indeed correct that they have a pretty good idea as to the cause, arguably recovery will not contribute to the investigation, and, if if they didnt have a good idea, may not help a great deal or add to preventing future accidents. As to the recovery of the people involved I can understand this would be a different debate about how public money should be spent.

Fuji_Abound wrote:

Are you referring to the quote to paraphrase in which the AAIB said they had no interest in a recovery operation and felt they had a pretty good idea as to the cause?

No, not specifically. I think it’s a shame that they can be portrayed in a negative light in a national newspaper when the chartering of a ship to locate a lost celebrity is fully understandable.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom
I have to say that throughout this sorry saga I have been a little surprised how quickly they called the search(es) off. I know that marine salvage operations are very, very expensive, but would the money raised privately not have covered at least an attempt to recover the wreck?

According to this the passenger died of injuries upon the impact.

It is not surprising the impact was violent. If it was an engine failure, the pilot would have almost certainly made a radio call, and attempted to ditch using the landing light. This sounds like he lost control in IMC+night.

BBC Wales is still busy digging around the FAA trust aspect. Well, journos love a mystery, but in this case it isn’t relevant. And the insurers etc will know the beneficial owner because, ahem, that is the insured party…

I would think private funding would do the job of wreck recovery, if they want to raise it. It isn’t an official grave now. What they might learn from it, I have no idea. The avionics won’t work (for e.g. extracting autopilot error logs), and the only chance of finding a track log would be in some flash storage, perhaps in a handheld GPS. But the trajectory will already be known from the Jersey/Guernsey radar coverage. The plane had Mode C.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

What was the sea state? Even a perfect ditching, in daylight, into big waves, could smash an aircraft of that size, and injure the occupants.
At night, at his round-out speed, I’d be surprised if the landing light gave him much choice regarding position of touchdown on the wave.

Maoraigh
EGPE, United Kingdom
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