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 December 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 statements made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot went to Bordeaux-Yvrac aerodrome in order to make a local flight south of the facilities. The last weather information he had consulted made him choose to fly runway circuits instead. At the holding point of runway 29, the pilot hesitated as to whether to take off because of a threatening sky but finally decided to do so. In initial climb, during the second runway circuit, heavy rainfall significantly reduced visibility. The pilot thought that he would not be able to finish his circuit. As he knew he was alone in the aerodrome traffic circuit, he decided to turn around and land on runway 11.
The pilot indicated that visibility was not very good facing the runway. Noticing that the final approach was not stabilized, he considered aborting the approach but continued and landed "long". The runway being wet and the remaining distance being insufficient, the pilot was unable to stop. The plane ran off the end of the runway and finished its run in a ditch between the aerodrome boundary and an adjacent field. The pilot evacuated the plane, unharmed.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Pilot information
The 28-year-old pilot held a PPL license with an SEP (T) rating. He had logged 77 flight hours since 2018, all on type and 4 hours and 30 minutes as pilot-in-command.
The pilot indicated that he should not have taken off when he was hesitating to do so at the holding point.
2.2 Meteorological information
The weather conditions at the time of the accident at Bordeaux Mérignac airport located 19 km away were as follows:
Bordeaux-Mérignac decoded METAR: calm wind, visibility greater than 10 km, ceiling 2,300 ft with temporary rain showers and a drop in visibility to 4,000 m.
2.3 Aircraft information
The landing run distance given by the flight manual, for an estimated landing weight of 700 kg (pilot alone on board in local flight), in the conditions of the day, is 180 m to which 15 % should be added because it was a grass runway and 20 % because it was wet. The resulting landing run distance was therefore between 240 and 260 m given the uncertainties due to the accuracy of the available data.
This distance was significantly increased by an increment in speed at touchdown.
 Restricted use aerodrome, unpaved runway measuring 685 x 50 m.