Accident to the Socata TB20 registered F-GDNP on 18/08/2020 at Dijon Darois AD

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in September 2020. 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 the pilot’s statement. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.


The pilot took off shortly before noon from runway 20 of the Dijon-Darois aerodrome to carry out runway circuits. During the third touch-and-go landing and shortly after lift-off, the right door of the plane opened completely. The plane was in the takeoff configuration (landing gear extended, flaps extended to the 1st flap detent position, propeller control at full low pitch). The pilot reduced the speed to 75 kt to minimize the aerodynamic load on the open door and continued the climb. He initially considered making a low-height left hand circuit in order to land on runway 20 and initiated a left turn. He then realized that he was at a height of about
300 ft and that the low-height path would take him over a forested area. In view of his low height and speed, and considering that he did not know how the plane would behave with an open door, he voluntarily aborted the flight and landed in a harvested field ahead of him, about 30 degrees left of the runway axis.

During the landing, the left landing gear broke. The pilot evacuated the plane.


The pilot had logged about 1,000 flight hours on several aircraft types (DR400, C172, TB20 and PA28 in particular). He had about 100 flight hours on TB20.

The pilot indicated that he had decided to carry out runway circuits on the TB20 on the day of the accident, in order to train for a cross-country flight in the following days.

He recalled having checked twice that both doors were locked[1], during the preparation of the aeroplane before start-up and after the engine tests at the holding point, before take-off. He added that he had completed the onboard checklist that included these items.


[1] NB: checking that the right door is closed from the left seat is tricky.