Accident to the Wassmer CE43 registered F-BXCI on 19/07/2020 at Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron AD (Charente-Maritime)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

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 September 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, accompanied by three passengers, took off from unpaved runway 28 at Saint-Pierre d'Oléron aerodrome for a cross-country flight to Étampes Mondésir aerodrome.

During the take-off run, when the aeroplane’s speed was about 40 kt[1], the main landing gear collapsed. The aeroplane slid to the left, without the pilot being able to control it. The plane ended its run in a ditch bordering the runway.

2.1 Pilot Information

The pilot, holder of a private pilot license, aeroplane PPL( A) since 14 October 2015, had logged a flight time of 5 hours and  42 minutes in the previous 30 days, all on type.

The pilot indicated that the aircraft had accelerated normally and rapidly. He then felt jolts as if he was running on corrugated sheet. One or two seconds later, the nose of the aircraft pitched up and the aircraft leaned to the left before levelling off again with the nose higher than normal. The pilot said that he could not control the plane after this.

2.2  Meteorological information

The weather conditions estimated by the pilot during the preparation of the flight were as follows: wind 90° at 10 kt, CAVOK, temperature 33 °C.

2.3 Landing gear examination

The examination of the landing gear concluded that the main landing gear locking rods had broken. The technician in charge of the examination explained this failure by the fact that the vibrations during the take-off run might have been poorly dampened by the dedicated spring and that the rods might then have entered into resonance, causing them to break.


[1] The rotation speed is 60 kt.