Accident to the Piper - PA32 registered N56994 on 06/06/2020 at Saint-Barthelemy (French West Indies)

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 October 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.


During the approach, the pilot took note of the parameters transmitted by the AFIS officer, who indicated a wind from 050° at 18 kt.
In order to avoid downdrafts on final, the pilot decided to use runway 28 rather than runway 10.

She explained that she had mismanaged her approach path, possibly because she had not flown for two months, and that she had positioned the aeroplane too close to the runway in the last turn. The pilot reported that the aeroplane crossed the runway threshold in a turn higher than normal and to the left of runway 28.
The aeroplane touched down hard in the grass next to the runway, causing the nose gear to collapse. The aeroplane pulled out a ground sign, slid on its nose, struck another sign and came to rest on its nose, in the grass.


The 69-year-old pilot held a PPL(A) licence issued in France. She did not provide the BEA with any information about her ratings or recent experience.
Saint Barthelemy aerodrome is a restricted use aerodrome with a paved runway 10/28, measuring 646 m long and 18 m wide. The VAC chart indicates that on runways 10 and 28, the approach is difficult due to terrain and turbulence. Runway 10 is the preferred runway.

The airport manager indicated that the runway chosen by the pilot did not appear to be consistent with the wind conditions at the time of landing.