AAIB investigation to Ercoupe 415D, G-ERCO
Nose gear collapsed following bounced landing at Pent Farm, Kent, 14 May 2014.
The owner-pilot was positioning the aircraft from its customary home airfield at Manston, Kent, to new hangarage at Pent Farm. Although his pilot’s licence and medical were in-date, his certificate of experience was not, so he was accompanied by a Qualified Flying Instructor.
The pilot reported that he had positioned the aircraft downwind for a left-hand approach to Runway 07 (a grass strip of 840 metres) and, in his opinion, turned a little too early onto base leg and then had difficulty seeing the strip. As a result he passed through the runaway centreline as he turned finals; he regained the centreline and the approach seemed normal, if, in retrospect, “it was a little too fast”. He believes he then flared for touchdown somewhat late and the aircraft bounced as it hit a bump and then bounced again as it hit another. On the third bounce the nose landing gear collapsed.
The pilot believes that his lack of recency had probably led to a number of misjudgements during the approach to a field with which he was not familiar. Having bounced once, he believes he should have handed control to his instructor.
Ercoupe 415D G-ERCO 09-14.pdf (128.02 kb)