Engine failure may have caused fatal Mandelieu helicopter crash  

Details are slowly emerging about a tragic helicopter crash that occurred several hundred metres off the coast of Mandelieu on 11th January and left two dead.  

The pilot, 35-year-old Loreline Germain as identified in the local press, and her student, a 27-year-old currently known only as Vincent, are understood to have taken off from Cannes-Mandelieu Airport in a Robinson R22 a little before 4pm.  

Around a minute later, according to the preliminary investigations by the Bureau d’Études et Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA), the pilot-instructor warned of engine failure over the radio. Within moments, the helicopter had crashed into the sea. 

See more: Helicopter crash off the coast of Mandelieu kills two

Following numerous witness accounts, dozens of emergency service personnel headed out into the bay in search of the helicopter and its passengers, but given the fading light, the task of locating the craft proved a complex task. The helicopter and the two people onboard weren’t found until after 6pm. 

At the time, Commander Xavier Wiik, who led the search and rescue operation, was quoted in the Nice Matin as saying, “There is no debris on the surface, only oil slicks.”   

The same news outlet has since reported that the helicopter was found at a depth of 30 metres and has been recovered.  

The BEA has classed the incident as an accident, noting a “loss of control in flight” and “failure or malfunction of a circuit or component” linked to the powertrain of the aircraft.  

Parallel investigations into the accident, one by the Gendarmerie, assisted by the Section de Recherches des Transports Aériens, and another by the BEA, continue.  


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Photo source: Ioana Baciu, Unsplash