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 May 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 pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot got into the front left seat of the aeroplane parked on a grass parking area and carried out the start-up checklist. He started up the engine while monitoring the instruments and he specified that the brake lever was then in the PARK position. The pilot mentioned that, on this aeroplane, the brake lever is located on the pedestal between the two pilot seats, right next to the elevator trim labelled TRIM. On the other club aeroplanes, the brake control is located on the rudder pedals.
At the end of the start-up, the pilot took the brake lever out of the PARK position and began to taxi. He increased power to leave the parking area and to run over a small bump. While turning right and with the intention of slowing down, he thought he pulled the brake control but saw no decrease in speed. By reflex, he then pressed the top of the rudder pedals and realized that the braking was ineffective.
The pilot was unable to turn the aeroplane to the left or right using the rudder pedals to avoid collision with the aerodrome boundary fence. The aeroplane hit the fence and came to rest.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The 73-year-old pilot held an ATPL(A) licence issued in July 2001 and a SEP (land ) rating valid until October 2022, as well as a Class 2 medical fitness certificate without restrictions, issued in December 2020. On the day of the accident, he had logged about 21,000 flight hours, including 4 hours 30 minutes on the Dynamic-WT9 and about 3 hours on type in the last 90 days. His last flight on F-HVXA as pilot flying was on 22 September 2020. The COVID-19-related lockdown meant that he had been unable to fly that aeroplane again before the date of the accident.
The pilot indicated that it did not cross his mind to reduce power or shut down the engine during the taxi phase and specified that he mistakenly made an input on the wrong control when he wanted to use the brakes. Because of the heterogeneity of the aeroplanes within the club, it is recommended to have flown on type within the previous three months before a solo flight.