‘There is no evidence that the aircraft was authorised to fly, in accordance to current national regulations’, can be read in a note from the Office for the Prevention and Investigation of Aircraft and Railway Accidents (GPIAAF).

According to Lusa agency, the aircraft ‘had been recently acquired’, the pilot and owner had ‘limited experience’ with it when the crash took place on 10 November.

The GPIAAF also indicated that the airspace in the area of the Monte de Lago private runway, next to the reservoir and where the aircraft landed, ‘was not conditioned and overflight was not permitted’ without prior coordination.

‘The crew did not submit a flight plan and in route did not maintain bilateral communications with flight information services, neither with the AFIS at Ponte de Sor aerodrome, a mandatory communications and transponder requirement, given the design of the airspace (TRMZ)’.

Following this incident near the Montargil dam, involving a BRM Citius Sport Aircraft, the two occupants, aged 32 and 39, suffered serious injuries.

When describing the occurrence, the GPIAAF explained that the aircraft had taken off at 09:40a.m. from the Alqueidão aerodrome, in the municipality of Azmbuja (Lisbon), in direction for Belgium, with a pilot and passenger aboard.

‘The trip was planned in several stages, with the pilot choosing to make the first stop at the private Monte do Lago aerodrome’ where it landed ‘at 10:05a.m., without prior authorization from the aerodrome owner’.

After the owner instructed them to ‘abandon’ the aerodrome, the pilot and passenger ‘began preparations’ for take-off, refuelling the aircraft with additional fuel carried in the cabin’ and at 10:50a.m.’, the aircraft was aligned on ‘lane 32’.

As claimed by a witness cited by the GPIAAF, the take-off ‘was slow and the aircraft had difficulty keeping its wings level’.

‘According to statements made by other witnesses, the aircraft plunged shortly after gaining some altitude above the treetops, beginning a downward movement and colliding with the ground’.

Investigation opened

The GPIAAF opened a safety investigation into the causes of the accident and stated that it will ‘look into’ the aircraft’s loading and centering procedures, the pilot’s training and the flight’s operational planning procedures.

The operation of the aircraft pre-event, including the analysis of the engine and its systems and the aircraft’s operational limitations, among others, will be matters under investigation.

The safety investigation carried out by the GPIAAF solely has the objective to identify the factors that contributed to the incident, also possibly issuing recommendations for preventing and improvising civil aviation safety’.

After completing the investigation and the prior hearing procedure for the relevant parties, the GPIAAF will publish the final report.