An easyJet Airbus A320 overflew a Robin DR400 on final approach to runway 23 at Bordeaux, France.
On 2022-12-31, the presence of six controllers was planned but the tower manager had, in agreement with his team, reduced the planned number of controllers to three at the time of the serious incident.
The tower manager and a controller started their shift at 7:30 a.m., followed by the third controller around 10 a.m.
After takeoff of an Air France A321, the controller cleared the DR400 (reg. F-GTZY) to align at threshold 23, instructing it to maintain its position due to wake turbulence. Flight EJU4 QH, an easyJet Europe A320, was established on ILS 23, awaiting landing clearance.
VFR traffic then became very dense. The controller, forced to interrupt communications with VFR flights, late authorized the A320 to land, forgetting the presence of the DR400 at the threshold.
The DR400 pilot, having understood that the A320 was authorized to land while still at threshold 23, reported to the controller, who immediately ordered the A320 to abort the approach.
The tower manager and the controller, surprised, then became aware of the situation. The A320 crew, mainly focused on the end point during the final approach, never identified the presence of an aircraft at the runway threshold.
The missed approach was nominally executed by the easyJet crew. The lowest point of the trajectory was located at a height of 103 ft, at a distance of approximately 290 m from the runway threshold. The A320 flew over the DR400 at a height of 178 ft, then continued on the standard trajectory.
The controller in position quickly moved back. The tower leader took over the ground, LOC and approach positions, without a LOC assistant, and the controller, on break, resumed work.
In the absence of instructions from control, the A320 crew requested guidance to shorten the standard go-around trajectory and return to land on runway 23. The landing continued without further incident.