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Accident to the Sonaca S200 registered F-HCYR on 11/07/2023 at Saint-Cyr-l'École

Bounced landing, failure of nose gear

Responsible entity

France - BEA

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation. 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 flight

The student pilot, accompanied by the instructor, took off from grass runway 29L at Saint-Cyr-l’École aerodrome for a series of landing exercises. The A/A procedure was in force.

The weather conditions were good and, in accordance with the planned exercise, after the first two runway circuits in dual control, the student pilot took off alone for four aerodrome circuits.

On the third landing on grass runway 29R, the aeroplane bounced three times, causing the nose gear to break and damage to the propeller. The aeroplane came to a halt on the runway.

2. Additional information

2.1. Meteorological information

The Toussus-le-Noble airport METAR, located 7 km from Saint-Cyr-l'École, indicated CAVOK conditions at the time of the accident, with a temperature of 24°C, a dew point of 14°C and a wind from 250° of 7 kt. The pilot stated that he had received the same information when preparing his flights. Sunset on this date was at 21:54 over Saint-Cyr-l'École.

2.2. Student pilot information

The 35-year-old student pilot started his PPL(A) training in October 2022. On the day of the accident, he had logged a flight time of 22 hours 30 minutes, including 21 hours 45 minutes in dual control and 45 minutes solo. All these hours had been flown on the Sonaca 200.

2.3. Student pilot statement

The student pilot explained that his first two approaches were slightly above the slope and that he corrected these deviations. He also felt that the difficulty he had had in descending the aeroplane was probably due to the fact that the S200 was lighter once the instructor was no longer on board.

According to him, the third approach to runway 29R was on the slope, his usual references seemed correct, the flaps were in the landing position and his speed was appropriate, slightly above 55 kt. He added that he did not hear any stall warning until touchdown, that the throttle was in the idle position and that he was surprised by the strength of the first bounce.

The student pilot indicated that after the aeroplane came to a halt, he cut off the fuel supply and reported on the A/A frequency that the runway was no longer available. He added that his messages were relayed several times by the pilot of the aeroplane following him in the aerodrome circuit.

He added that he then switched off the battery and the alternator before switching the battery back on to receive instructions from his instructor, who was using a portable VHF radio.

The student pilot believed that the inadequate execution of his flare led to the first bounce. He also added that, although his instructor had informed him of the possibility of a bounce before his solo flight, he had not sufficiently prepared for emergency actions and consequently did not know how to react after the first bounce.