On the evening of 23 June 2015, a home-built Jabiru J430 aircraft, registered F-PFAJ, was being flown on a transfer flight from Aachen, Germany to an airfield near the town of Oehna, France. The aircraft was being operated at night in instrument meteorological conditions. Thunderstorms and heavy precipitation were recorded along the flight path. At around 2200 that evening, local residents identified aircraft wreckage and debris within and surrounding the township of Mühlenberg, Germany. The aircraft had sustained an in-flight break up. Both occupants, a pilot and passenger, were fatally injured.
The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) was primarily responsible for investigating this accident. As part of its investigation, the BFU notified the ATSB as the State of Manufacture of the aircraft. In accordance with clause 5.18 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the ATSB appointed an accredited representative to liaise with the BFU and the Australian aircraft manufacturer. In order to facilitate that liaison, an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 was initiated.
The BFU completed their investigation and concluded that:
The accident was caused by the pilot flying into instrument meteorological conditions which resulted in an uncontrolled flight attitude, which in turn resulted in structural failure due to overstress.
Contributory factors were the lack of qualification of the pilot to control an aircraft in IMC and the aircraft equipment geared to visual flight rules. In addition, both occupants were under mental pressure to reach the aerodrome of destination on direct course.
Since the trim tabs were not installed on the elevator, it was possible to perform a flare with higher load factors due to a greater deflection of the elevator.
The final report, BFU 15-0764-CX, is available on the BFU website at www.bfu-web.de/reports.
Any enquires relating to the investigation should be directed to the BFU at: www.bfu-web.de.
|Date:||23 June 2015||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1846 UTC||Investigation level:||Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Mühlenberg, Lower Saxony, Germany|
|State:||International||Occurrence type:||VFR into IMC|
|Release date:||23 March 2020||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|