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 October 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 statements made by the pilot and instructor. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot-in-training, accompanied by an instructor, completed the engine tests and pre-take-off actions and then lined up on runway 33. On increasing power, as the aeroplane began its run, the canopy on the pilot's side opened. The pilot reduced power and braked. The aeroplane, which was at the beginning of the slope tipped forward. The propeller hit the ground, the engine stopped and the aeroplane came to standstill nose down on the runway.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Crew experience
The 26-year-old instructor, who held a CPL (A) commercial pilot licence, an FI(A) aeroplane instructor rating, and a mountain "wheels and skis" rating, had logged 2,150 flight hours, including 100 hours as an instructor.
The 36-year-old pilot, who held a CPL (A) commercial pilot licence, had logged 260 flight hours, including about 50 hours on conventional landing gear aeroplanes (D112, DR221, DR1050).
The pilot indicated that this was the first flight on the D140 as part of a training course to obtain the mountain rating. He said that on the conventional landing gear aeroplanes he had flown up until then, braking was operated from a central control and that this was the first time he had used a conventional landing gear aeroplane with toe brakes. He added that, in the previous months, he had been training for the CPL(A) licence and the IR-ME rating, and that, during this training on tricycle landing gear aeroplanes, he had performed numerous aborted take-offs, which could have led to an over-reaction on the brakes. He indicated that this was the first time he had taken off with a conventional landing gear aeroplane from a descending runway. He was surprised by the effectiveness of the brakes (disc brakes) and how quickly the aircraft tipped forward despite holding the stick in the aft sector.
He added that, during the preparatory briefing with the instructor, they had studied the procedures in case of an engine failure immediately after rotation or outbound, but not the specifics of an aborted take-off on a descending runway.
The instructor indicated that the left-side canopy opened when power was applied and at the beginning of the run. She indicated that she instructed the pilot to abort take-off and was surprised by the pilot's reaction on the brakes. She also indicated that, with the toe brakes, she had no means of countering the pilot's action on them.
She also explained that from the right seat it is difficult to visually check that the left-side canopy is properly closed without having to ask the pilot to move.
2.3 Flying club post-accident measures
After this event, the club implemented the following measures:
- further verification of canopy closure in addition to the checklist actions,
- briefing of the student on the risks of noseover when braking hard on aeroplanes with conventional landing gear, in particular during an aborted take-off procedure.
 On the F-BMFV the canopy opens upwards.