7 Dec 2007

French Polynesia air crash blamed on ruptured cables

1:57 pm on 7 December 2007

French air crash investigators say last August's fatal plane accident in French Polynesia was caused by ruptured cables.

20 people died when the Air Moorea Twin Otter plunged into the sea shortly after take-off from Moorea on a flight to Tahiti.

The investigators say in a preliminary report that steering cables tore in several places in the front section of the aircraft.

They say the sound track suggests that after take-off the pilot failed in his attempt to regain control of the plane and within 11 seconds it smashed onto the water surface.

The report says the cables in question are expected to last five years but in an environment with high salt content they may last just a year.

The Twin Otter's cables had been replaced in 2005.