The BEA (France) has published an Interim Report in the context of its investigation into the accident that occurred off the coast of Canet-Plage on 27 November 2008 to the Airbus A320 registered D-AXLA. The airplane, operated by XL Airways Germany, was performing a non-revenue flight that departed from Perpignan-Rivesaltes aerodrome. This flight, planned in the leasing agreement, included a programme of checks to be performed before the return of the airplane to Air New Zealand.
The report shows, specifically, that since the flight was shortened, a check at low speed planned at altitude was undertaken during the approach to Perpignan. It was during this check that the crew lost control of the airplane, which crashed into the sea.
The interim report contains a recommendation to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aimed at reinforcing the regulatory requirements related to the preparation and execution of non-revenue flights. The investigation in fact showed that in the almost complete absence of indications or standards, a wide variety of descriptions by operators of these flights was found, both in their performance and in the selection and training of pilots. (BEA)