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.
The following information is principally based on the pilot’s statement. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot took off from Saint-Etienne Loire airport at 14:00 for a cross-country flight to the successive aerodromes of Grenoble Alpes-Isère (touchdown at 14:57), Valence Chabeuil (touchdown at 15:25) and Lyon Bron (16:00), with a planned return to the departure aerodrome. At Bron, the pilot flew over the aerodrome before joining the circuit via a right-hand downwind leg for runway 35. During the landing, the pilot was unable to control a series of bounces which resulted in the failure of the nose gear. The aeroplane came to a stop on the right edge of the runway.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Pilot information and statement
The 43-year-old pilot held a PPL license with a valid SEP rating and a class 2 medical fitness certificate. On the day of the occurrence, he had logged 393 flight hours, including 314 hours as pilot-in-command. Since January 2019, the date of his release on the Tecnam P2010, the pilot had flown 41 hours and 33 minutes on F-HBYC and had carried out 67 landings.
The pilot indicated that following the lockdown measures related to the Covid-19 epidemic, he sought advice from an instructor of the aero club during a briefing. He then carried out two cross-country flights alone on board, including one on the P2010 and a local flight. On 30 May, he performed his fourth flight since resuming flights on May 16.
The pilot indicated that he chose the 30 May route with a view to preparing a longer flight with different air conditions from those he was used to as he generally flew in the early morning. The convective conditions encountered in the early afternoon, although making the flight less comfortable, did not affect his vigilance, his availability or his flying on arrival in Lyon, an airport he had flown to 11 days earlier. However, he considered that he had been "rather high on the approach slope”, voluntarily adopting a speed of 80 kt, 10 kt over the speed recommended in the flight manual. He admitted in hindsight that this increase was not necessary given the strength of the wind during his approach and that the consequent overspeed may have had an effect on the management of the flare. He specified that he perceived a single bounce and then a violent touchdown, accompanied by a loud noise and the aircraft sinking forward. He added that he had never had to deal with a bounced landing situation in the past and that he did not know what action to take to handle it.
2.2 Meteorological information
The conditions were favourable for visual flight along all of the route.
The Lyon Bron METAR at 16:00 local time indicated a wind from 300° at 6 kt, variable from 230° to 10° and a CAVOK situation.
2.3 Aircraft information
The Tecnam P2010, of Italian design and manufacture, is a single-engine, four-seater, high-wing, fixed gear aeroplane, equipped with a 180 hp Lycoming engine. The pilot refuelled before departure, giving the plane a flight range of more than five hours. The load sheet completed by the pilot during the preparation of the flight indicated that it was and would remain throughout the flight, within the balance envelope recommended by the manufacturer.
3 - LESSONS LEARNED AND CONCLUSION
During the approach to Lyon Bron, the pilot increased the speed and adopted a steep descent slope. In this situation, the pilot had to deal with an unusual flare, which he did not know how to react to appropriately. The plane bounced and the nose gear failed.
Excessive speed on final combined with a steep slope increase the energy to be dissipated during the flare manoeuvre. An initial bounce can occur on touchdown without sufficient absorption of the excess energy. If the pilot remains passive, the aircraft may bounce again, which may cause the nose gear to break. The reflex actions required to manage a bounce must be known and kept current so that they can be immediately and correctly reproduced.
 Dimensions of the paved runway: 1,820 m x 45 m, LDA: 1,520 m.