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 March 2021. 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 statements. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot taxied to the holding point located on the central taxiway leading to the runway of Saint-Girons aerodrome, for a flight bound for Toulouse-Lasbordes aerodrome. The weather conditions were good and the wind was light. During the preparation of the aeroplane before take-off, the pilot was interrupted by another pilot who had just landed and wished to use the taxiway. He postponed the end of the pre-take-off actions, vacated the taxiway, back tracked on the runway and resumed the pre-take-off actions from the end of runway 34 .
Once the actions were completed, the pilot applied power. The run was normal and at 110 km/h he took off. Shortly afterwards, the aeroplane started to deviate to the right. The pilot tried to counter this movement, but the stick seemed to be jammed. He then decided to reject the take-off, reduced power and tried to land at the edge of the runway, within the boundary of the aerodrome. The pilot heard the stall warning, the left wing dropped abruptly and the contact with the ground was brutal.
The pilot evacuated the passenger, switched off the battery and magnetos and then exited the plane.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Pilot's experience
The pilot held a PPL. He had logged 232 flight hours at the time of the accident, including 75 hours on the DR 400. He had logged nine flight hours in the previous three months.
2.2 Pilot's statement
The aeroplane had been used the week before, during a training course organized by the aeroclub in Saint Girons. The pilot indicated that he had been dropped off with his passenger, his 10-year-old son, at St Girons aerodrome at about 10 am. He had to ferry the plane, and the mooring equipment used during the training course, to Toulouse-Lasbordes aerodrome where it was based.
He remembered he had tested the controls during the pre-take-off actions carried out at the end of runway 34. He added that his passenger drank from a canteen just before he applied power. He asked him to put the canteen on the rear seat, but the passenger put it on his seat.
2.3 Examination of the wreckage
Examinations showed that the flight control linkages were continuous. A deformed canteen was found. These deformations were caused by an interaction with the lower elbow of the right stick.
It was also noted that many objects contained in an unsecured bag located on the rear seat had been thrown forward.
3 - CONCLUSIONS
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.
The passenger drank from his canteen just after the pre-take-off actions had been completed. He then put it on his seat. During the take-off run, the canteen fell on the floor.
After the rotation, when the pilot needed to correct a slight roll, he could not operate the control which was jammed by the canteen. He then decided to reject the take-off at low height.
Safety lessons learned
The pilot thought that the presence of unsecured objects in the rear seat could have caused injuries to the occupants during the impact.
The rejection of the take-off while the aeroplane was still at a low height brought the aircraft to the ground with low energy, thus reducing the consequences of the accident.
 Paved runway 34, measuring 1,100 x 30 m