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 the student pilot’s statement. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGH
The student pilot took off from runway 262 of Angers Marcé aerodrome for a supervised solo cross-country flight with route points at Saumur Saint-Florent and Cholay Le Pontreau aerodromes, before returning to his departure airfield.
At the end of the flight, the student pilot lined up on final for runway 08 of Angers Marcé aerodrome. As the wind conditions were left crosswind, he decided to correct the effects of the crosswind in final by banking the aircraft into the wind. During the first attempt, the aeroplane was too high above the approach slope so the student pilot aborted the approach. He then carried out a runway circuit before lining up on final for runway 08 again.
He indicated that during the flare on the second attempt, the plane suddenly slewed to and banked left. He added that he tried to counter it, but the nose gear violently touched down and collapsed, then the propeller came into contact with the ground.
The plane stopped about 50 m from the threshold of runway 26.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Student pilot information
The 64-year-old student pilot was training for the Private Pilot License Aircraft (PPL(A)). He had logged about 93 flight hours, including 11 hours in the month prior to the accident. He had logged solo flight time of 6 h 10 min, including 3 h 40 min in the previous month. All of his training had been conducted on the DA20.
2.2 Weather Information
The weather conditions at the time of the accident were as follows:
- Wind from 350°, 10 kt ;
- Visibility greater than 10 km ;
- No significant cloud cover.
2.3 Landing in crosswind conditions
In the VFR Instructor Guidebook published by ENAC, two crosswind landing techniques are described:
- The landing technique with "decrabbing" before touchdown. The pilot approaches in symmetrical flight, with drift correction and zero bank angle. He only "decrabs" before the main landing gear touches down.
- The technique with drift correction by banking into the wind. The pilot approaches the landing phase by keeping the axis of the plane lined up with the runway axis and by modulating the bank and the symmetry of the flight to neutralize the drift. The touchdown is then carried out by starting with the windward wheel, followed by the leeward wheel, and ending with the nose gear.
The student pilot believed that his decision to use the second technique, with which he was less familiar, may have contributed to the accident.
 Paved runway 08/26 measuring 1,800 x 45 m.