Accident to the Robin DR400 - 140B registered F-GORL on 16/12/2020 at Chambley (Meurthe-et-Moselle)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

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 April 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 made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.


The pilot took off alone on board with the goal of performing aerodrome circuits on runway 23L[1]. During the first final approach, he considered he was properly aligned and stabilized with respect to both the slope and speed. He performed a "kiss landing[2]" and the aeroplane veered to the left as soon as the wheels touched down. He tried to apply input on the rudder pedals to bring the aeroplane back on the centreline, while pushing the stick forward in order to unlock the nose wheel, but this had no effect. The aeroplane veered off to the left of the runway and hit the taxiway C sign, before coming to rest in the grass, with the nose gear broken.

2.1  Pilot information

The pilot held an LAPL (A) licence. He had logged approximately 130 flight hours at the time of the accident, including 12 hours on the DR400, and had flown three times in the previous three months. Most of his flight time was on the Robin R2120s, which are equipped with the same nose wheel lock system as the DR400s.

The pilot considered that the wind was from the south at 5 to 10 kt. He explained that he had been taught to move the stick forward after touchdown to unlock the nose wheel during the landing run. He had previously experienced a nose-wheel locking problem with this aeroplane about a year before. It happened during take-off at Metz-Nancy-Lorraine aerodrome, as he was reaching rotation speed. He was able to take off before the aeroplane deviated too much from the runway centreline.

2.2  Examination of the aeroplane

Following the accident, the aeroplane was examined by an approved maintenance workshop. The examination revealed that the position of the rudder pedals in relation to the firewall was incorrectly adjusted which, according to Robin Aircraft, can have a significant effect on the rudder pedal inputs required to steer the aeroplane, making it more difficult to control the aircraft.


[1] Paved runway, 2,100 x 45 m.

[2] Smooth landing.