BEA - Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile - Zone Sud - Bâtiment 153 - 200, rue de Paris - Aéroport du Bourget - 93352 Le Bourget Cedex - FRANCE - Téléphone 33 1 49 92 72 00 - Télécopie 33 1 49 92 72 03BEA - Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile - Zone Sud - Bâtiment 153 - 200, rue de Paris - Aéroport du Bourget - 93352 Le Bourget Cedex - FRANCE - Téléphone 33 1 49 92 72 00 - Télécopie 33 1 49 92 72 03

 

Accident to the Airbus A310-324
registered 7O-ADJ,
operated by Yemenia Airways,
Flight IY626 - Sanaa – Moroni
with 142 passengers, 11 crew members

Information on 1st July 2013
On 29 and 30 June 2009, Yemenia Airways was flying the route from Paris-Marseille-Sanaa (Yemen)-Moroni (Comoros). In this context, the Airbus A310-324 registered 7O-ADJ was performing flight IY626 between Sanaa and Moroni. There were 142 passengers and 11 crew members on board.
During a circle to land with prescribed flight track made at night for a landing on runway 20 (facing south), the Moroni controller lost radio contact with the crew between 22 h 53 and 22 h 55 (UTC). The aeroplane struck the surface of the sea north-west of the island, about 18 km from the aerodrome, outside of the trajectory corresponding to approach procedure.
The 142 passengers were either of French nationality or of Comorian nationality and residing in France. Only one passenger, aged 13, survived the accident.
Two minutes after the last contact, the controller called the aeroplane four times without getting any answer. He immediately raised the alert. The authorities thus informed set up two crisis groups at the airport: a policy group and a technical group, each of which launched the initial search and rescue operations.

Organisation of the investigation
In accordance with the provisions of Annex 13 to the International Civil Aviation Convention, a Union of the Comoros Commission of Inquiry was set up on 2 July 2009.
This Commission consisted of:
-  the Comorian investigation team in charge of the Safety Investigation (State of Occurrence);
- the BEA and technical advisers from Airbus (State of Design and Manufacture) ;
- the civil aviation authorities of Yemen (CAMA) and technical advisers from Yemenia Airways (State of Operation) ;
- the NTSB and technical advisers from Pratt & Whitney (State of Manufacture of the engines);
- and from ASECNA (Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar).
The Commission set up working groups in the following areas: Air operations, Maintenance, Sea searches, Recorders and Human Factors.

Sea Searches
Immediately after the accident, French and other foreign resources were mobilised and travelled to the site for search and rescue operations, which made it possible to localise the signal transmitted by the flight recorder ULBs. A ship was chartered by the BEA and underwater searches took place from 20 August 2009 to 14 September 2009. During this time, around sixty bodies were recovered and handed over to the Comorian judicial authorities.  
On 28 and 29 August 2009, the flight recorders were recovered at a depth of 1,200 m. Parts from the aeroplane were then recovered.
The searches undertaken by France had a total cost of around 3M€.

Recorder Readout
At the request of the Comorian authorities, flight recorder readout operations were undertaken by the BEA, as soon as they arrived, on 31 August 2009. Because of damage to the memory cards, recovery of the data two weeks. Nevertheless, all of the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) data and 38 of the forty CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) memories were read out.
This readout was undertaken in the presence of all of the members of the Commission of Inquiry and a representative of Honeywell, manufacturer of the recorder.
Based on the recorder readout, the BEA supplied the Comorian Investigator-in Charge with a document summarising the work.
A second CVR readout operation had to be undertaken in the premises of Honeywell in Seattle, from 18 to 22 October 2010, in the presence of the members of the Commission of Inquiry. Of the missing CVR memories, one could be read out.
On 25 June 2011, the Commission of Inquiry a published an interim report. In the letter addressed to the President of the Commission of Inquiry on 5 July 2011, the director of the BEA provided his comments, regretting the absence of any reference to the data from the flight recorders in this report.
Two years later, on 25 June 2013, the final investigation report was published in Moroni during a ceremony that brought together Officials from the Comoros Union and representatives of the families of Comorian victims of the accident. The Ambassador of France and two staff members from the BEA attended this ceremony.


Final Report (including appendices 1 to 7), 25 June 2013

List of appendices:
Appendix 1 : Additional information on the aeroplane’s characteristics
Appendix 2 : VOR/DME approach chart to runway 02 and arrival procedure (AIP)
Appendix 3 : Circle to land with prescribed flight tracks for runway 20 (Jeppesen chart)
Appendix 4 : Transcript of Moroni control radio communications
Appendix 5 : FDR graphs
Appendix 6 : CVR Transcript
Appendix 7 : Localisation of ULBs and bathymetry

Appendix 8 : Correspondence
Appendix 9 : Comments from Yemen

The report final can also be consulted at the site of the ANACM

Interim report, 25 June 2011

Information and press releases
Letter from the Director of the BEA addressed to the President de the Comoros Union Commission of Inquiry on 5 July 2011
Summary of the BEA’s participation in the investigation directed by the Comorian authorities, 30 June 2010
Press release on 5 July 2009
Press release on 30 June 2009

 

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