Air Moorea DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 plane crash
Off Moorea, French Polynesia
The Twin Otter DHC6-300 was operating a service to the French Polynesian capital Papeete, on the main island of Tahiti with 19 passengers and one pilot on board. Immediately after takeoff from Moorea-Temae Airport, the Twin Otter veered to the right and began to descend until it struck the sea. No distress call was received by the Air Traffic Controller. All the people onboard were killed.
The airline says the twin turboprop crashed 1.85km (1 NM) from the end of the runway. The plane rapidly sunk under several hundred meters of water.
The investigation shows that about 30 seconds after takeoff, the aircraft starts an abnormal descent. The pilot seems surprised. A few seconds later, the plane smashes onto the water surface. While the plane is descending, two sounds are identified as pilot actions on flight control commands, but the aircraft maintains the descent, as described by witnesses and confirmed by the violence of the impact. The engines are working normally and symmetrically.
The accident has probably been caused by a rupture of the elevator control cables, which were significantly worn and, for one of them, broken in the rear section.