Note: The following information is principally based on the student pilot’s and instructor’s statements. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in May 2020. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
1 - History of the flight
On his last solo flight before the LAPL practical test, the student pilot landed on runway 03. During the landing run, the aircraft veered off the left side of the runway.
2 - Additional information
2.1 Student pilot information
The 55-year-old student pilot had logged 88 flight hours, including 14 hours within the last three months and 6 hours and 30 minutes within the last 30 days. He had begun his training in 2016 and had interrupted it for several years. He resumed the same training in 2019 and had logged approximately 30 flight hours and five hours of solo flight up to the day of the accident.
2.2 Student pilot statement
The student pilot indicated that it had been decided with his instructor that he would perform runway circuits and touch and go landings. On start-up, the controller informed him that runway 03 was active. During the first left-hand runway circuit, he performed a stabilized final approach with an airspeed of 60 kt, flaps 30°. He added that, as there seemed to be a left tailwind, he turned the wheel to the left and applied right rudder input for the landing. The flare and the beginning of the run were normal until the aircraft began to veer to the right. He released the pressure on the right rudder pedal and the aircraft veered to the left. At that point, he remembered turning the wheel to the right. He thought he had a car-driver's reflex. The left wing lifted and the propeller struck the ground before the aircraft came down on its wheels. The pilot then regained control and stopped the plane on the edge of the runway.
He added that he had just finished a very busy working day. In addition, he had been in traffic jams which had affected his composure. He believed that he should have rested more before undertaking this flight.
2.3 Instructor statement
The instructor stated that, during the briefing, the crosswind landing technique had been discussed. He added that the final approach, the flare, and the touchdown appeared to be correct. The landing run was in progress when he saw the aircraft's left wing lift.
2.4 Weather information
At the time of the aircraft’s start-up, the Poitiers-Biard aerodrome ATIS frequency gave the following information:
- Wind 300°/07 kt, CAVOK, temperature 22 °C, QNH 1003 hPa.
3 - Conclusion
The conclusions are solely based on the information which came to the knowledge of the BEA during the investigation. They are not intended to apportion blame or liability.
When he established the aircraft on final, the student pilot had the impression that he had a left tailwind component. After decrabing during the flare, he had difficulty keeping on the runway centreline. During the landing run, the left wing lifted under the effect of the wind and the disordered control inputs. The propeller struck the runway, then the student pilot regained control of the aircraft and completed the landing off the runway.
(European) Light Aircraft Pilot License.