This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in October 2022. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
Note:thefollowing information is principally based on statements made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1. History of the flight
The student pilot took off from runway 12 of Pontoise - Cormeilles-en-Vexin aerodrome to perform two left-hand runway circuits in supervised solo flight.
After take-off, he turned right and realised his mistake a few moments later when the tower controller informed him that he had turned the wrong way. On his own initiative, the student pilot answered that he would join the "correct" crosswind leg.
He performed a right-hand 180° turn, joined the left-hand crosswind leg and continued on it about 1 Nm further than usual, before turning onto the downwind leg.
The controller informed him that he had flown beyond the downwind leg. On his own initiative, the student pilot replied that he would intercept his path before the base leg. A few moments later, he turned left by about 60° and joined the base leg.
On the final leg he was a little too low but corrected his flight path and indicated that he was back on the correct approach slope. As he arrived overhead the runway threshold, he felt he was too high. He then reduced power by half and substantially accelerated the descent. Surprised by the ground rushing up, he reduced power to zero and flared rapidly. The main landing gear touchdown was abnormally hard and the aeroplane bounced before making contact with the ground again, this time with the nose gear and propeller. The aeroplane bounced a second time and the student pilot performed a go-around.
After a second runway circuit, the student pilot landed normally.
2. Additional information
The 41-year-old student pilot was training for the PPL(A) private pilot licence. He had logged
20 flight hours since his first flight, three months earlier. Except for one flight, he had flown only the DA20. His previous flight, two days earlier, was his first solo flight.
According to his instructor his training was going well.
The student pilot stated that the only runway in use at the aerodrome had switched from 30 to 12 shortly before the start of his flight. He added that the visual approach chart he had in front of him in the aeroplane was "the wrong way round" and that this may have contributed to him making the turn in the wrong direction after take-off. He explained that the various messages from the controller did not destabilise him, but that his mistake about the direction of the turn caused him stress and loss of confidence. He reported that during the second circuit he had to use more engine power than usual. When the propeller hit the runway, both blades were damaged symmetrically. According to the student pilot, this did not cause any vibration for the rest of the flight.
Paved runway measuring 1,650 m long and 50 m wide.