Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.
The pilot took off at around 14:45 from Saint-André de l’Eure aerodrome (Eure) for a flight along the coast via Étretat and Fécamp, in the class-D TMA of Deauville airport (Calvados). After carrying out several manoeuvres along the coast, the pilot announced to the controller that he was at Fécamp and that he was continuing to Le Havre.
A few minutes later, a number of witnesses on the beach and in Fécamp heard an engine noise that got louder during the aeroplane’s descent. Some of the witnesses saw the aeroplane descending in a straight line, with a steep nose-down attitude, towards the surface of the sea, level with the semaphore.
The investigation was unable to explain the rapid descent towards the surface of the sea. However, the pilot’s recent personal situation may have influenced his actions and decisions at the end of the flight.
As the wreckage was not found, it was not possible to rule out a technical failure prior to the collision with the surface of the sea.