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M20K down in Saarbrücken (CDA v. D&D etc)

A Mooney 231 M20K has crashed while approaching Saarbrücken airport in Germany, killing the sole occupant on board.

The aircraft apparently came from Stuttgart and Saarbrücken was it’s destination. The aircraft crashed near a taxiway following an approach in bad visibility.

METARS:
EDDR 271020Z 25002KT 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 BECMG 0600
EDDR 270950Z 28003KT 240V330 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 NOSIG
EDDR 270920Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 NOSIG

Source:

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=190950

http://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/saarland/saarbruecken/saarbruecken/ensheim/Kleinflugzeuge-Nebel-Flughafen-Saarbruecken-Flufghafen-Ensheim-Unfall-Flughafen-Unglueck;art446405,6287501

LSZH, Switzerland

Hopefully there is more to it than a spectacularly bad decision…

EGPD / OMDW / YPJT, United Kingdom

Others have better luck…

LFPT, LFPN

What bugs me about this accident is, that if the reports are true, this was an exceptionally experienced pilot as well on the very airplane as in general. It has been quoted that he had completed no less than 24 north atlantic crossings with that very airplane plus a flight to the North Pole and back. That someone like this would even start an approach in such conditions really is scary.

According to reports, he took of in Stuttgart about two hours before the crash, which occurred at 0950UTC.

The TAF was optimistic, which might have triggered his decision to go for the flight…
EDDR 270500Z 2706/2806 VRB03KT 0100 FG VV000 BECMG 2707/2709 1500 BCFG BKN002 BECMG 2709/2712 6000 BKN010 BECMG 2712/2714 SCT010 BECMG 2721/2724 3000 BCFG PROB30 TEMPO 2800/2806 0300 FG VV001=

From what was written elsewhere and the FR24 track, he held near Saarbrücken for a considerable amount of time before he tried the approach. Looking at the METARs, the weather was not really approving over the course of the whole day.
EDDR 272020Z VRB01KT 0150 R27/0350N FG VV/// 07/06 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271950Z VRB01KT 0150 R27/0325N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271920Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0300N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271850Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0300V0450N FG VV/// 07/06 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271820Z VRB01KT 0200 R27/0300N FG VV/// 07/06 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271750Z 29003KT 230V340 0200 R27/0325N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271720Z VRB02KT 0200 R27/0325N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271650Z VRB02KT 0250 R27/0375N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271620Z VRB02KT 0250 R27/0275N FG VV/// 08/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271550Z 26003KT 220V280 0200 R27/0275N FG VV/// 08/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271520Z 27004KT 0200 R27/0250N FG VV/// 08/07 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271450Z 30003KT 250V330 0350 R27/0400V0600U FG VV/// 08/07 Q1034 TEMPO 0200
EDDR 271420Z 26003KT 210V300 0700 R27/P2000N FG VV/// 08/08 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 271350Z VRB02KT 1600 BR BKN001 08/08 Q1034 TEMPO BKN002
EDDR 271320Z VRB02KT 0900 R27/0900V1800U FG FEW001 BKN002 08/08 Q1034 TEMPO 1500
EDDR 271250Z VRB02KT 0350 R27/0550V0900U FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 TEMPO 1200
EDDR 271220Z VRB02KT 0200 R27/0500N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1034 BECMG 0600
EDDR 271150Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0375N FG VV/// 07/07 Q1035 BECMG 0600
EDDR 271120Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0300N FG VV/// 06/06 Q1035 BECMG 0600
EDDR 271050Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0275N FG VV/// 06/06 Q1035 BECMG 0600
EDDR 271020Z 25002KT 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 BECMG 0600
EDDR 270950Z 28003KT 240V330 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 NOSIG
EDDR 270920Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0225N FG VV/// 05/05 Q1035 NOSIG
EDDR 270850Z VRB02KT 0150 R27/0250N FG VV/// 04/04 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 270820Z VRB01KT 0150 R27/0300N FG VV/// 04/04 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 270750Z VRB01KT 0150 R27/0275N FG VV/// 03/03 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 270720Z VRB01KT 0150 R27/0250V0450N FG VV/// 03/03 Q1034 NOSIG
EDDR 270650Z 08002KT 0150 R27/0300N FG VV/// 03/03 Q1033 NOSIG

What is remarkable is that the METAR shows a trend BECMG0600 over several hours, while 600 m was reached only much later. The trend was only issued after the crash however.

The newspaper reports that he was “decided to try an approach despite the conditions”. As the METARS show, the situation did not really improve during the day, with only very slight improvements during the afternoon.

http://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/saarland/saarbruecken/saarbruecken/ensheim/Ensheim-Saarbruecken-Flughafen-Saarbruecken-Flughaefen-Flugungluecke-Kleinflugzeuge-Landebahnen-Nebel-Tod-und-Trauer-Unfallursachen;art446405,6287947

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 28 Oct 08:20
LSZH, Switzerland

550m/800m, take your pick. The RVR wasn’t even close.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

I agree with Dave, it seems NCO limits us to 800m RVR

the other that bugs me, as I’m quite close to Saarbrucken, is this :

ELLX 271220Z 22003KT 190V250 6000 BKN030 10/07 Q1034 NOSIG
ELLX 271150Z 21003KT 5000 BR BKN029 09/07 Q1034 NOSIG
ELLX 271120Z 19004KT 150V210 5000 BR BKN030 09/07 Q1034 NOSIG
ELLX 271050Z 20003KT 130V250 4000 BR BKN030 09/07 Q1034 BECMG 6000 NSW
ELLX 271020Z VRB02KT 4000 BR BKN028 08/07 Q1034 BECMG 6000 NSW
ELLX 270950Z VRB02KT 3000 BR BKN028 08/07 Q1034 BECMG 6000 NSW
ELLX 270920Z VRB02KT 3500 BR BKN030 07/06 Q1034 BECMG 6000 NSW
ELLX 270850Z 19003KT 130V220 3500 BR BKN027 07/06 Q1034 NOSIG
ELLX 270820Z VRB02KT 4000 BR BKN021 05/05 Q1034 BECMG 5000 FEW000
ELLX 270750Z VRB01KT 2500 BR BKN022 05/04 Q1034 BECMG 5000 FEW000
ELLX 270720Z VRB01KT 2500 BR FEW001 BKN025 04/04 Q1034 BECMG 5000 FEW000
ELLX 270650Z 00000KT 1200 R24/P2000N BCFG FEW001 BKN022 03/02 Q1033 BECMG 2000 BR FEW000

Last Edited by PapaPapa at 28 Oct 09:33
ELLX (Luxembourg), Luxembourg

That someone like this would even start an approach in such conditions really is scary.

Scary? I don’t want to know how many such approaches he has done during his flying adventures. Some things work out only 99 times out of 100. Not my words, but those of a very experienced examiner I briefly spoke to this morning at our common homebase: The only good thing about the accident is that on this flight he was alone on board.

EDDS - Stuttgart

You know what I mean what_next. At least I hope so. But your reaction shows pretty much what I have been thinking as well.

There is a guy who has done a lot of very interesting flying with his Mooney and he comes to grief for something so utterly stupid. Clearly now questions will arise around the rest of his flying career, which, for all we know, might have been spotless. Maybe you know different, I didn’t know more about this guy than his name and that he is one of those people who has done long range flying with his airplane very regularly. So it’s not a question of lack of experience.

What hurts is that an accident like this with a pretty well known name will again shed a bad light on all of GA. If not even guys like this will be careful enough to get it right, then who.

LSZH, Switzerland

Maybe you know different,…

Maybe. But I will not write anything in public until the report is published.

What hurts is that an accident like this with a pretty well known name will again shed a bad light on all of GA.

Almost certainly. Maybe even to the point that an approach ban for private flights will be introduced here as well. Which would not be such a bad thing if it helps to save people from their own bravery.

Last Edited by what_next at 28 Oct 10:12
EDDS - Stuttgart

Incredible to even depart in those circumstances let alone try the approach. Dissipation of fog is essentially unforecastable over short time periods. Relying on a BECMG with FG is not a good idea. But to start an approach in those circumstances….wow.

Last Edited by JasonC at 28 Oct 10:34
EGTK Oxford
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