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 December 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 statements made by the instructor and the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The student pilot, the only person on board, took off for a series of aerodrome traffic circuits on runway 02, under the supervision of his instructor equipped with a portable radio.
The first two circuits (a go-around on approach and a touch-and-go landing) were completed normally.
During the third circuit, the student pilot felt vibrations coming from the nose gear which were stronger and more intense than usual, then a violent swerve to the right of the runway when he applied power for a touch-and-go landing. He took off for a new aerodrome traffic circuit in order to make a full stop landing.
He explained that in spite of a well-stabilized final approach and an initial touchdown on the main landing gear, the plane bounced violently when the nose gear touched down. The student pilot then carried out a go-around for another aerodrome traffic circuit.
He added that the same thing happened during the next landing with several bounces "in all directions" and that he aborted the landing again.
At the end of the initial climb, by radio, the instructor asked his student to switch to runway 20, which provided a better headwind component and a longer final.
During the landing, the student pilot heard a metallic noise coming from the front and held the nose of the aeroplane up for as long as possible. The aeroplane tilted onto the part of the nose landing gear that had remained attached (see picture) and the propeller touched the ground. The student pilot made a Mayday call and cut off the fuel mixture and the electrical contacts, then the aeroplane came to a stop on the runway.
The nose wheel was found on the runway near the IFR landing markings.
The instructor specified that the final approaches of his student were stable.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The 19-year-old student pilot was in training for a private pilot (aeroplane) license. He had logged 19 flight hours, including 11 hours in the last 30 days, all on the Tecnam P2010.
The weather conditions at the time of the occurrence were as follows: wind 270° at 6 kt, CAVOK. A squall had previously passed over the aerodrome.
In his statement, the instructor indicated that the operator hypothesized that a shimmy action during a landing might have resulted in the retraction of a travel stop and blocked the nose gear with a significant angle to the longitudinal axis of the aeroplane.
The operator explained that the off-centre nose wheel could explain the bouncing observed during the subsequent attempts to land and that the successive loads on the nose gear strut could have caused it to break.
 Unpaved runway measuring 2,404 m x 45 m.