AAIB investigation to Aero AT 3 R100, G-SYEL

Nose landing gear collapsed following several bounces on landing at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire, 27 June 2017.

Summary:

The student pilot had been briefed to fly a first solo circuit. The weather was: wind 090º/6 kt, visibility 10 km, cloud overcast at 1,500 ft. Runway 05 was in use which was 602 m long and 30 m wide and had a grass surface. The aircraft departed normally and established on the downwind leg at 900 ft aal, where the pilot lowered the first stage of flap. Light rain had moved into the circuit which reduced the visibility but the circuit was completed and, when established on finals, full flap was lowered at about 65 kt. The instructor, who was monitoring the circuit, and the pilot both thought the approach was normal but the touchdown, although smooth, was flat and, following several bounces, the nose landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came to a stop. The pilot switched off the fuel and electrics and vacated the aircraft.

The pilot thought that the approach was slightly fast and the touchdown may have resulted in a Pilot Induced Oscillation (PIO) leading to the nose landing gear collapsing. Also, the deterioration in the weather made the pilot reluctant to go around.

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Aero AT 3 R100, G-SYEL 09-17

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 14 September 2017