French BEA: Ice on Wings Brought Down Premier

 - July 22, 2014, 3:05 PM

The French BEA accident investigation branch determined that the pilot’s failure to de-ice before departure led to the takeoff crash of a Beechcraft Premier in France on March 4 last year that killed the pilot and one passenger. This was one of four Premier accidents last year that took a total of 11 lives. According to the BEA report, the pilot’s “insufficient appreciation” of the risks associated with ground-ice led him to take off with ice on the wings, which “caused the aerodynamic stall of the airplane and the loss of control shortly after liftoff.”

The pilot and two passengers arrived at Annemasse Airport at about 7 a.m. for the short private flight to Geneva Airport. The temperature was -2 degrees C and the humidity was 98 percent with low clouds. The aircraft (registration VP-CAZ) had been parked outside since the previous evening.

The airplane stalled and crashed as soon as the main wheels left the ground during takeoff, according to the report. The investigation also showed that Annemasse does not have ground de-icing facilities and that an onboard device for detecting ice on the ground “could have prevented the accident.”