Accident to the Aquila AT01 registered F-HAQI on 25/10/2019 at Persan-Beaumont (95)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Note: The following information is principally based on the pilot’s statement. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.

This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in March 2020. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.



The pilot wanted to fly an aerodrome traffic pattern at the end of the day. He taxied to the holding point of paved runway 28 at 18:01. He completed the first touchdown without difficulty with the runway lighting on. The pilot indicated that during the second approach, the brightness of the day had decreased but that he could clearly see the runway. He had been made aware of the operation of the PCL[1] the previous year. As he associated this system exclusively with night flying and considering the context, he added that he did not feel the need to use it. He continued on his stabilized approach slope. The aircraft crossed the runway threshold and the pilot began the flare. Contact with the ground was hard. The aircraft bounced once without any reaction from the pilot, then the bouncing phenomenon amplified until the nose gear failed.

The aircraft veered off the left side of the runway and ended its run in the grass. The pilot was uninjured.

2 - Additional information

2.1 Pilot information

On the day of the occurrence, the pilot held a Private Pilot Licence, Aeroplane, (PPL (A)), with a valid SEP[2]rating and a valid class 2 medical fitness certificate. He had logged 285 flight hours, six of which were on the AQUILA, the last flight on this aircraft being in August 2019. He did not hold a night rating.

2.2 Weather and sunset time information

Roissy Charles de Gaulle METAR at 19:00:

Wind 170°/12kt, visibility more than 10 km, few clouds at 1,800 ft, temperature 15 °C.

Pontoise METAR at 19:00.

Wind 220°/10 kt, visibility more than 10 km, scattered clouds at 2,600 ft, temperature 16 °C.

On the day of the occurrence, sunset at the aerodrome was at 18:43. 


At about 15 minutes before sunset, due to both the lower light level compared to the previous touchdown and the runway lighting being off, the pilot misjudged his height on very short final. He began to flare late and the aircraft bounced.

Generally speaking, without pilot action, the bounced landing phenomenon amplifies until the nose gear fails. Applying the missed landing technique on the first bounce would have allowed a safe landing before sunset, after an additional runway pattern. The pilot could also have considered a new approach after a go-around on short final. With the implementation of the PCL, the pilot would have benefited from the runway lighting as he had during the first controlled touchdown.


[1] Pilot Controlled Lighting. Its implementation conditions are given in the atlas-VAC  AIP GEN81.

[2] Single Engine Pistons.