Accident to the Mooney - M20 registered F-HCCM on 03/07/2020 at Troyes-Barberey (Grand Est)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 3 investigation report: report concerning an occurrence with limited consequences, based on one or more statements not independently validated by the BEA.

This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in May 2021. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.

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


The pilot, accompanied by two passengers, took off around 12:40 from Melun-Villaroche aerodrome for a pleasure flight to Troyes-Barberey aerodrome.
Arriving on final, the pilot configured the aeroplane for landing and checked that the gear extended. This was done by both checking for the illumination of the "gear down" light and checking the mechanical operation of the gear extension system.

The flare and touchdown of the main landing gear took place in a nominal way, then the pilot let the nose gear descend. During this action, he noticed that the aeroplane's cowling passed below the horizon and tried to pull the stick, but could not prevent the propeller from touching the runway.
The nose sank completely and the aeroplane's path deviated to the left until it came to rest about 20 m from the edge of the runway.

2.1 Pilot information

On the day of the accident, the 60-year-old pilot held an ATPL(A) airline transport pilot license with a valid single-engine piston (SEP) class rating. His class 1 medical certificate was also valid.
His total flying experience was about 18,000 flight hours, of which approximately 300 hours in the Mooney M20. He had flown 6 hours and 30 minutes in the three months before the accident, including 4 hours and 20 minutes in the last 30 days. All of these flights were on F-HCCM.

2.2 Aeroplane information

F-HCCM is a single-engine Mooney M20J with retractable-gear.
The pilot, who was the sole user of the aeroplane, had acquired it in 2016 in South Africa. He maintained it himself and the airworthiness review certificate was renewed annually with the OSAC.

The findings of the maintenance workshop following the accident show that the nose gear broke at the weld between two metal tubes (see item 13 Figure 1 and Figure 2).

Figure 1: Main gear exploded view (source: IPC Mooney M20)
Figure 2: Broken gear of F-HCCM (source: pilot)