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France calls for flight data recorders to be installed on all commercial aircraft
23 May 2013

An accident involving a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Guadeloupe led the French accident investigating agency to recommend EASA to extend the obligation to carry a flight data recorder on board any aircraft in commercial air transport.

On September 5, 2010, the Cessna 208B suffered a failure of one or more blades of the turbine compressor when over sea, some eleven minutes after takeoff. Engine power was lost and the pilot shut down the engine and feathered the prop. The pilot attempted to return to the airport of Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and tried to restart the engine. The engine could not be restarted and the pilot decided to carry out a  forced landing in a sugar cane field. The airplane sustained substantial damage but the pilot and six passengers were not injured.

The BEA investigators concluded that the accident resulted from a creep rupture of one or more blades of the turbine compressor leading to failure of the engine in flight. The causes of creep could not be determined. It could have resulted from operating the engine over the temperature-threshold or non-detection during maintenance.

The presence of a flight data recorder would have provided information on the parameters of the engine during the accident flight and previous flights.


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