Accident to the Boeing Stearman PT 17 registered N1771B on 26/07/2020 at Guiscriff Scaër AD (Morbihan)

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 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.

1 - History of the flight

Returning from a local flight on the coast, the pilot, accompanied by a passenger, lined up for landing on runway 20[1]  of Guiscriff-Scaër aerodrome. During the final approach, he regularly monitored the windsock which indicated a light crosswind coming from the right. The pilot landed on the runway centreline, just after the threshold. He indicated that he quickly felt that the wind was making him deviate to the left. He made a nose-up right input into the wind with the stick. The plane continued to deviate to the left, went off the runway and after running a few meters over grass, entered a swampy area. The main landing gear sank into the mud, the plane stopped and rolled onto its back.

The two occupants evacuated the aeroplane unharmed.

2 - Additional information

The pilot held a PPL license obtained in November 2015. He had logged 321 flight hours, including 78 hours on the Boeing Stearman, 16 hours in the last three months and 11 hours in the last 30 days, all on type.

According to the pilot, the weather conditions at the time of the accident were as follows: CAVOK, variable wind from west 10 km/h, gusts from 20 to 30 km/h according to the windsock.

They were the same as the Quimper Pluguffan aerodrome METAR applicable at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, old aeroplanes with conventional landing gear such as this 1943 biplane are complicated to manage on paved runways, especially in case of crosswind. The aerology on Guiscriff Scaër aerodrome can be changeable. The wind on that day varied in direction and strength. The pilot was surprised by a gust which occurred just after landing. The swampy zone close to the runway, according to him, worsened the material consequences of this runway excursion.


[1] Paved runway 1,500 x 30 m.