Accident Fairchild FH-227B F-GCPS, Friday 4 March 1988
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Date:Friday 4 March 1988
Type:Silhouette image of generic F27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild FH-227B
Owner/operator:Transport Aérien Transrégional - TAT
Registration: F-GCPS
MSN: 546
Year of manufacture:1967
Total airframe hrs:33142 hours
Cycles:55843 flights
Engine model:Rolls-Royce Dart 532-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 23
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:1,6 km E of Machault -   France
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Nancy-Essey Airport (ENC/LFSN)
Destination airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
TAT Flight 230 departed Nancy, France, at 06:53 hours for Paris-Orly and climbed to a cruising altitude of FL140. At 07:26 the aircraft was cleared to descend to FL90 and later FL70. Approaching the MEL VOR, clearance was given to descend further to FL60. About 07:37 the aircraft entered a steep descent at a rate of 16000 ft/min. Twenty seconds later the aircraft struck power lines and impacted the ground.

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from original French language report): Immediately after an electrical systems failure occurred in instrument weather conditions, the aircraft pitched nose down.
The Committee was unable to acquire any certainty as to the cause of this catastrophic descent.
After eliminating various assumptions invalidated by the established facts and findings and after reviewing the results of flight tests conducted at its request, the commission assigned higher probability to the hypothesis that the electrical fault caused a loss of attitude reference and autopilot disconnect which would have occurred while the aircraft was configured 'out of trim' in a nose down attitude.
In the absence of independent standby horizon, the crew had no usable attitude reference immediately available while the aircraft was in a high-speed dive.


ICAO Circular 260-AN/154 (1-11)
Aérosteles : Lieux de mémoire aéronautique


  • 26th worst accident in 1988
  • 45th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 32nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Arno Janssen, via Werner Fischdick; Paris-Orly Airport (ORY); June 1981

photo (c) Michel Gilliand; Paris-Le Bourget Airport (LBG/LFPB); 16 February 1985

Revision history:


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