Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.
After a local flight of about one hour, the pilot, accompanied by a passenger, joined the left-hand downwind leg for runway 22 at Dreux aerodrome. The pilot of a CAP10, who was returning from an aerobatic zone south-east of the aerodrome, announced on the radio that he was joining the traffic pattern in the base leg. After exchanges between the two pilots on the radio frequency, the pilot of the microlight announced that she was number two and began a right-hand manoeuvre to fly away from the runway and position herself behind the CAP10. After the two aircraft passed each other, she lost control of her microlight while turning left to re-join the base leg.
In the absence of radar tracks and recorded radio communications, the precise sequence of events leading up to the accident could not be established. Based on the information gathered, it appears that the microlight and the CAP 10 joined the circuit pattern on the downwind leg and the base leg respectively.
In this context, the path of the CAP10 may have conflicted with that of the microlight, which was probably following a downwind leg closer to the runway than that generally flown by planes. However, their respective downwind and base leg reporting enabled these two pilots to become aware of their relative positions. The pilot of the microlight then undertook a manoeuvre to position herself as No 2 behind the CAP 10. She turned right and followed a path parallel to and in the opposite direction to the base leg. After the two aircraft passed each other, she lost control of the microlight while making a left turn, probably to reposition herself on the base leg. The pilot was unable to regain control of the aircraft before hitting the ground. The investigation was unable to determine why the emergency parachute was not used. However, given the height at which the loss of control occurred, it is not possible to assert that the parachute would have fully deployed and been effective.