Accident to the Jodel DR250-160 registered F-GHTJ on 05/08/2017 at Belle-Île (56)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Note: The following information is principally based on the pilot’s statement. 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 March 2020. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.


The pilot planned to undertake a cross-country flight of about 350 nm, departing from Belle-Île aerodrome bound for Bourg-Ceyzériat aerodrome, the aircraft's base. He planned a refuelling stop at Châteauroux-Déols aerodrome. His wife, also a pilot, was seated in the right seat.

After starting up, he backtracked on the paved runway to line up with the threshold of runway 06[1]. He had acquainted himself with the Lorient METAR, which indicated a wind not exceeding 10 kt and variable between 280° and 10°. He indicated that while backtracking, he was aware of a strong wind.

He took off holding the control stick into the wind and with a slight backward deflection. At the very beginning of the run, the aircraft deviated to the left into the wind. After a run of about 200 m, the pilot was unable to counter the deviation from the path despite strong rudder input, and the aircraft veered off the runway. The pilot decided to abort take-off, he reduced the throttle and set the mixture control to idle. The aircraft ran through the grass and performed a ground loop; the right landing gear leg broke.


2.1 Weather conditions

According to an estimate made by Météo-France, the local weather conditions at the time of the occurrence were as follows:

  • Wind: 320°/10 at 15 kt with maximum gusts for ten-minute periods from 320° to 330° and up to 15 to 20 kt.

Other reports were available on the Internet[2] for the Belle-Île Le Talut coastal weather station, located about two kilometres from the aerodrome. The pilot did not know that this source of information existed. The wind values are measured there at ten metres above the ground:

  •  At 10:30, the reports indicated a wind of 320° at 12.4 kt with maximum gusts up to 18 kt for ten-minute periods.
  •  At 11:00, the wind was 320° at 11 kt with maximum gusts up to 16 kt for ten-minute periods.

2.2 Pilot information

On the day of the accident, the pilot, owner of the aircraft, was 63 years old. He held a valid PPL(A) pilot licence since May 2009 with a TW (conventional landing gear) endorsement since August 2012.

He had logged 223 flight hours, including 70 hours on the DR 250. He had flown about ten hours in the three months before the accident, including about eight hours on the DR 250 and five hours in the last 30 days also on this type of aircraft.

Given this occurrence, he believed that he did not take sufficient account of the strength of the crosswind at the time of take-off and the associated limitations of the aircraft[3]. He believed that a deferral of the departure would have been appropriate.


[1] QFU 062°, dimensions 660 m x 25 m.

[2] Information source Météo-France, available on several sites, updated on an hourly basis.

[3] According to the flight manual, the crosswind speed limit for this conventional landing gear aeroplane is 20 kt.