France - BEA

Serious incident to the Morane Saulnier - MS893 - A registered F-BTPC on 10/01/2021 at La Montagne Noire aerodrome

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.

The meteorological conditions were not favourable for slope soaring flights or flights at a distance from the aerodrome. The flight manager, instructor aboard the glider, considered that the cloud ceiling at the beginning of the afternoon, estimated during a flight by the tug pilot, was high enough to carry out aerodrome circuits. He therefore decided to carry out cable failure exercises at low height followed by adapted circuits to join the runway, with different pilots in training. During these manoeuvres north of the runway, he did not notice the deterioration of the meteorological conditions, with a lowering of the cloud ceiling, in the tug plane’s aerodrome circuit. For his part, the tug pilot, worried by the possibility of icing, did not reassess the conditions at the end of each flight and continued with the towing.
At the end of the sixth tow flight, during the downwind leg south of the aerodrome, the aeroplane entered clouds and the pilot lost visual references. He twice lost then regained control of the aeroplane, both times close to the ground, after having regained visual references. It was not possible to determine if an artificial horizon could have helped the pilot to avoid the losses of control.

The pilot then tried to maintain a constant climb attitude. He did not manage to stabilize the aeroplane’s bank but he was able to keep control of it. After 20 minutes of flight, he rose above the cloud layer and regained visual references. He was then able to reach Revel aerodrome where he landed without further incident.
The flight manager then ferried the aeroplane from Revel aerodrome to La Montagne Noire aerodrome, to avoid leaving it in an unprotected area.