Accident Dassault Falcon 20D G-FRAK, Saturday 25 April 2015
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Date:Saturday 25 April 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Dassault Falcon 20D
Owner/operator:Cobham Aviation Services
Registration: G-FRAK
MSN: 213
Year of manufacture:1969
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:37 km S of Portland Bill -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Bournemouth International Airport (BOH/EGHH)
Destination airport:Bournemouth International Airport (BOH/EGHH)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft was undertaking target towing operations for a military exercise and was recovering the target whilst flying in an assigned danger area over the English Channel.
With the target approximately 40 m from the aircraft, the target winch accelerated rapidly and the target struck the leading edge of the wing before detaching and travelling over the wing. Although, the launcher and the droop leading edge on the wing were damaged, the aircraft landed safely. The target winch is powered by a turbine, and the speed of the turbine is controlled by vent doors. The target winch had oversped due to a fault with the closed limit switch on the vent doors which prevented the doors from closing.

The target accelerated during the latter stages of its recovery, causing it to strike the aircraft. The acceleration was probably due to an overspeed of the target winch as a result of the failure of the vent door closed limit switch preventing the vent doors from closing when commanded. The turbine would then have spooled up, increasing the torque and resulting in the winch accelerating.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/C2015/04/05
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

14 November 2023 G-FRAK Draken Europe 0 S of Exeter non
Loss of control


photo (c) AAIB; 2015

Revision history:


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