This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in February 2023. 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 statement made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
History of the flight
The pilot carried out the first drop flight of the day. After take-off from unpaved runway 21, he climbed to FL 135 and dropped five parachutists. He then joined the circuit in which he was alone, to land. He configured the aeroplane for final: flaps to 10°, indicated airspeed 70 kt with no increase to the indicated airspeed on final approach (kve). He made a two-point landing after the flare. After the nose wheel touched down, during the deceleration phase, the pilot felt that the aeroplane’s nose dropped. He immediately shut down the turbine (“IDLE FEATHER CUT OFF”) before the propeller blades came into contact with the ground. Once the aeroplane had stopped on the runway, he exited the aeroplane and noted that the nose gear had collapsed forward and that the three propeller blades had touched the ground. The aeroplane was then hand-towed to the taxiway with the help of several parachutists.
The aeroplane was the property of ICARIUS, based at Nancy airport. The company mandated 2SAVIA to lease out its aircraft. 2SAVIA sub-lease this aeroplane to the Lens parachute school.
The manager of 2SAVIA indicated that there are only three C206 models in France, all used for parachute drops. He added that he had trained the pilot on the C206 after he gave him a lesson on the differences between the C208 and the C206. The aeroplane rolled out of the workshop two years ago, fully renovated.
Examinations carried out
The ICARIUS technical department found that the rear attaching bolt of the nose gear retaining rod had ruptured (item 6 in Figure 1), which explained the collapse of the nose gear.
This rupture could have been caused by one on several hard landings which put significant stress on this bolt.
Figure 1: nose gear diagram