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.
1 - History of the flight
The pilot planned to make a cross-country flight from Vichy aerodrome during which he would conduct touch-and-go landings at Nevers and Montceau-les-Mines aerodromes and then return to the departure aerodrome.
Once at Montceau-les-Mines, the pilot flew over the aerodrome to check the orientation of the windsock and thus decide which runway to use for the touch-and-go landing. He estimated that the wind was coming from 090°/120° at 15 kt and chose to conduct the touch-and-go landing on runway 09.
On final, the aircraft, configured for landing, was stabilized at 70 kt and centred on the runway. The pilot explained that, as the main gear touched down, the aircraft was still centred and the indicated airspeed was 65 kt.
He added that he maintained a nose-up attitude to decelerate the aircraft. He then released the control stick and the nose landing gear touched down on the runway. The aircraft veered rapidly to the left. The pilot added that the nose wheel appeared to be unlocked and that, despite his actions on the rudders and brakes, the aircraft seemed uncontrollable.
The aircraft veered off the runway and continued its travel through the grass. On reaching a wheat field, it struck four wooden stakes and cut some barbed wire. It came to a stop in the field, about 50 m from the left edge of the runway.
2 - Additional information
At the time of the accident, the pilot was training in order to obtain a private pilot licence, aeroplane (PPL(A)). He had logged 72 flight hours, 12 of which were solo. He had flown on different types of aircraft: Diamond DA40, Cessna 172, APM 20 Lionceau and 120 and 160 hp Robin DR-400s.
He obtained the PPL(A) licence one week after the accident and has been flying regularly since then.