Air accident, an Aermacchi MB-339C type plane crashes in Nîmes-Garons, the pilots emerge unhurt after an ejection
Two-seater training plane accident
An Aermacchi MB-339C crashed at the end of the runway at Nîmes-Garons Airport (NMI) in Saint-Gilles, southeastern France.
On October 10, 2023, around 10 a.m. local time, the two-seater trainer aircraft was attempting to take off when it crashed at the end of the runway, according to local newspaper Midi Libre’s report. Both occupants of the aircraft were able to successfully eject. They both suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital. The accident sparked a vegetation fire which was quickly brought under control by firefighters.
Temporary interruption of airport operations in Nimes
The accident led to a temporary interruption of operations at the airport, and Ryanair flight RK8816 from London Stansted Airport (STN) to Nîmes was diverted to Montpellier–M Méditerranée Airport ( MPL).
Questions about the owner and the causes of the accident
The Aermacchi MB-339 is a light trainer and attack aircraft of Italian origin first introduced in the late 1970s. The owner of the MB-339C has not yet been confirmed, but a company private military specializing in operational air training, called SDTS, is headquartered at Nîmes-Garons airport and operates a fleet of nine Aermacchi MB-339C training jets.
The exact circumstances of the accident are not yet clear, but speculation suggests that a collision with birds during the take-off phase could be the cause.
Nîmes-Garons airport, which was previously a joint base also serving as the main French Naval Aviation base until 2011, now hosts several private defense companies as well as a fleet of water bomber aircraft. French Civil Protection.
keywords: Air accident, Aermacchi MB-339C, Nîmes-Garons Airport, France, Ejection, Fire, Ryanair, Aerial training, Light aviation, SDTS, Bird collisions, French naval aviation, French civil protection