On October 16, 2013, an ATR 72-212A, registration marks RDPL-34233, operated by Lao airlines, took off from Vientiane to Pakse. The pilot started the approach on runway 15 as a thunderstorm was around the airfield. The pilot decided a go-around while beginning a right turn to the south. The witnesses described the trajectory of the aircraft from south to north continuing a right turn and descending before final impact.
In accordance with international provisions, the BEA has formed a team of four investigators who are travelling to Laos to participate in the Safety Investigation, following the accident to the ATR 72-600 in the vicinity of Pakse airport (Champasak province).
The BEA investigators will be assisted by technical advisers from ATR.
The BEA reminds you that only the Laotian Civil Aviation Authorities may communicate information on the investigation in progress.
The team of BEA investigators has located the flight recorders from the Lao Airlines ATR that crashed into the Mekong.
Leaving France last Thursday, that’s to say one day after the Lao Airlines disaster that took the lives of 49 passengers and crewmembers, including seven French citizens, the BEA team made itself available to the Laotian authorities on arrival.
In accordance with international provisions, the BEA team is participating in this investigation as representative of the State of Manufacture and is assisted by advisers from ATR.
The detectors brought by the BEA investigators made it possible to hear, on 18 October, the acoustic beacons attached to the two recorders that contain the flight data (FDR- Flight Data Recorder) and the crew’s conversations (CVR – Cockpit Voice Recorder). Recovery of this information will make it possible to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.
Thanks to this equipment, the BEA investigators were able to locate the acoustic beacons to within twenty metres and give the Investigation Commission the position of the presumed area where the recorders were.
Searches are under way, though under very difficult conditions, due to the extremely strong current of the Mekong at this time of year and the complete lack of visibility in the water.