Accident to the Piper PA28 - 161 registered F-OGRH on 22/11/2020 at Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe)

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 June 2021. 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 statements made by the instructor and the student pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.


After a dual flight carried out the previous week, the instructor suggested that his student perform a local solo flight in the north sector of Pointe-à-Pitre - Le Raizet airport. A few aerodrome circuits and go-arounds were also planned.
Around 08:10, after a flight time of 15 min, the student pilot was on final for runway 12[1]. The approach was stabilized at 70 kt and the flaps were extended to the third flap detent for the first touch and go. The aeroplane bounced several times and the nose gear failed. The aeroplane slid and came to rest on the left side of the runway.

2.1 Student pilot’s experience and statement

The 17-year-old student pilot had started her training on 8 February 2020. She had flown the 27 hours and 20 minutes of her training on the PA28.
She had logged three hours of solo flight, the first flight being on 6 August 2020. Her last flight before the accident was on 14 November 2020; it was a dual flight followed by a solo flight after a one-month break.

The student pilot thought she had been subjected to gusts of wind during the landing.

2.2 Instructor’s statement

The instructor did not see the landing itself but he considered that the approach had been stable. He had previously identified issues requiring improvement, especially in her flare technique. According to him, the student pilot had recently had a tendency to start flaring a bit too low. But this point had been addressed the week before, during the resumption flight and he thought it had been resolved before the supervised solo flight. In hindsight, he thought that, the day of the accident, he should have carried out at least one runway circuit in dual flight before letting the student fly solo.

2.3 Weather information

The Pointe-à-Pitre – Le Raizet aerodrome METAR recorded at 12:00 UTC (08:00 local time) gave the following information: wind from 120° at 9 kt, few clouds at 4,700 ft.


[1] Paved runway measuring 3,129 m x 45 m, LDA 2,859 m.