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Fatal Accidents in the UK 2009

AEROPLANES

8 November
Taylor JT2 Titch, Nr. Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire
The 850 hour pilot was loaned the aircraft and making his first flight on the single seat type. After an extensive briefing the pilot took off in good weather conditions to perform a stalling exercise before returning. I t was seen by witnesses in a steep spiral dive or spin completing several revolutions from a height of approximately 2,000 ft. before crashing partly in the water on the bank of the River Nene, killing the pilot. The pilot had a medical history of treatment for heart problems and was flying with a valid NPPL medical declaration. It was possible that the pilot could have suffered an incapacitating cardiac event since there had been no attempt to recover from the spin or spiral dive.
(See AAIB Bulletin 09/2010)

20 September
Nord NC854S: Tangley, Nr Andover, Hants
After taking off from Bourne Park, nr Andover the aircraft was seen to climb over rising ground in a nose high attitude. At between 250 and 300 ft agl 1.5nm west of the airfield it departed from controlled flight and struck the ground in a steep nose dowmn attitude whilst rotating to the left and was largely consumed by fire. Both occupants were killed. The exhaust system was in poor condition and the pilot's (55 hours on type) and passenger's blood contained an elevated level of carbon monoxide.
(See AAIB Bulletin 04/2010)

8 July
Hunting Percival P56 Provost: Nr Bishop Norton, Lincs
While cruising at 2,500 ft en-route from RAF Waddington to RAF Lynton-on-Ouse, the aircraft suffered an engine mechanical failure which led to an in-flight fire which probably rendered the pilot unconscious due to smoke and fumes. The pilot was killed by the ground impact. Witnesses had seen thick black smoke coming from the aircraft in the air. The Alvis Leonides 9 cylinder radial engine failure was initiated by fatigue crack of the No 6 piston gudgeon pin which may have been due to a high load event such as a hydraulic lock. The low utilisation (365 hours in 40 years) probably contributed to the formation of corrosion. Three Safety Recommendations were made. (Ed. This appears to be the only fatal accident in the last 30 years where an in-flight engine fire was the cause).
(See AAIB Bulletin 010/2010).

27 June
Taylor JT1 Monoplane: Great Oakley Airfield, Essex
While taking off for a cross country to Old Buckenham, the pilot experienced a significant problem with the converted VW 1834 engine and attempted an abbreviated lef-hand circuit at a low height to land back on the airfield. During this manoeuvre the aircraft stalled with insufficient height to recover. The pilot, who had 857 hours on type, was killed. The aircraft had a history of engine problems but the exact nature that occured during the take off could not be confirmed but alone of in combination, could have resulted in power loss or rough running.
(See AAIB Bulletin 07/2010).

14 June
Grob 115 Tutor & Cirrus Glider: Nr Drayton, Oxon
The civil registered RAF operated aircraft was undertaking a cadet air experience flight from RAF Benson. It was performing aerobatics in visibility greater than 25 km in uncontrolled airspace when its left wing struck the fin of a glider causing the tail section to break away. The glider pilot who had been flying on a constant heading, took last second evasive action in an attempt to avoid the Tutor. He was able to parachuted to safety. The Tutor entered a spiral or spin before diving steeply into the ground killing both occupants. The Tutor pilot had a long-term medical condition which restricted the movement of his head and ability to conduct an effective look out. It is probable the pilot had become incapacitated and there is evidence the cadet had made some attempt to bail out. There are 13 Safety Recommendations.
(See AAIB Bulletin 10/2010 and AAR 5/2010).

12 June
Jodel DR1050 Ambassadeur: Kilkeel, Co. Down, N Ireland
The aircraft was returning from the Andreas, Isle of Man when deteriorating weather caused the pilot to divert from his intended destination Mourne, Co. Down, and divert to Kilkeel. during a tight turn to position on to finals in hazy 3nm visibility with mist and drizzle, the nose dropped, probably as a result of a stall and the aircraft dived into the ground killing the three
on board. The pilot had 150 hours on type. The aircraft was destroyed by fire.
(See AAIB Bulletin 04/2010).

24 May
CASA 1-131E Series Jungmann: Staunton Caundle, Nr Sherborne, Dorset
during a flight from Henstridge, somerset, the Spanish built version of the Bucker Bu131 biplane struck telephone wires when attemption a forced landing following an engine failure. The cables caused the aircraft to decelerate rapidly and pitch nose-down into the ground and overturn. No single cause could be found for the ENMA Tigre engine stoppage. The experienced pilot was killed and the passenger seriously injured.
(See AAIB Bulletin 04/2010).

10 April
N Reg Piper :
PA28-181: Steep, Nr Steep, Petersfield, Hants
The pilot planned to fly from Panshangar to Jersey with poor weather forecast. After 47 minutes the aircraft flew into low cloud covering a ridge. About 10 seconds later it struck trees approx 675ft amsl just below the ridge line and broke up killing the two occupants. The pilot had 225 hours on type.
(See AAIB Bulletin 04/2010).

21 February
Mickleburgh L107: Fenland Airfield, Lincs
Shortly after the single seat aircraft took off on runway 26, at between 400 and 700 ft the aircraft was seen to enter a steep left turn, a MAYDAY call was transmitted that he intended to land back on runway 36. It was seen to fly through the centreline of 36 but entered a spin and crashed close to the end of runway 18, killing the pilot. The 242 hour pilot had designed and built the VW powered aircraft and had flown 95 hours in it. It is likely there was a partial loss of power probably due to carburettor icing which had been experienced at about the same time on a C152. The carburettor heat control lever arm was found to be loose on the flap pivot rod with the flap stuck in the cold position. The fields at the end of the airfield were known to be waterlogged.
(See AAIB Bulletin 12/2009).

11 February
2 x Grob 115 G115E Tutors: Nr Porthcawl, South Wales
The civil registered Grob Tutors were being flown
from MOD St. Athan by RAF pilots giving two female Air Training Corps cadets, who were cousins aged 13 and 14, their first flights. They took off about a minute apart and were operating in their normal flying area. The cloud was scattered or broken at 2 to 3,000 ft and visibility was 30 km. The aircraft collided at 2,900 ft agl when one of them was flying west and the other turning from the south. One of them struck the aft fuselage of the other resulting in the loss of the left wing and in the other, most of the aft fuselage and whole of the tail assembly. Neither pilot saw the other aircraft, possibly obscured by the canopy frame, in time to take avoiding action. The 63 year old pilot of one aircraft had 3,816 hours and the 24 year old pilot of the other had 222 hours. A number of operational measures have now been implemented by the RAF.
(See AAIB Bulletin 11/2010 and 51 page AAR 6/2010).

2 January
Piper PA28-140 Cherokee: Colwich Junction, Staffs
The aircraft took off from Sittles airfield and was seen about 10 miles away carrying out manoeuvres described as similar to a wingover or stall turn. It then descended steeply before it struck power cables close to a railway junction on the West Coast main line, and crashed and burnt in a steep nose down attitude at high speed killing all three on board. The pilot had flown about 600 hours with over 500 on type. With 3 on board the aircraft was outside the Utility Category that would have permitted the manoeuvres described. The aircraft maintenance records were found to be incomplete, the pilot’s log book had not been updated for 8 years and his last Certificate of Experience was dated January 2001. His medical had expired in 1997. The accident appeared to be the result of loss of control while attempting an aerobatic manoeuvre.
(See AAIB Bulletin 10/2009).

GLIDERS

9 July
Schempp-Hirth GMBH Discus B: Nr Gransden Lodge Airfield, Cambs
About 10 minutes into a flight following a winch launch, the glider was seen to be in a spin, probably while soaring, to the left. It did not recover before it struck the ground killing the pilot. As a retired airline pilot, he had flown a total of 19,600 hours with 8 hours in gliding in the previous 28 days and 2 hours on type. He was also a tug pilot and had a share in a Chipmunk. There was a possibility the pilot may have suffered an incapacitating abnormal heart rhythm, which leaves no pathological evidence.
(See AAIB Bulletin 07/2010).

13 June
Grob G102 Astir CS77: Ratley, Warwickshire
In weak thermal conditions the glider on a cross-country from Aston Down, Glos to Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire did not maintain sufficient height to continue and departed from controlled flight at low altitude whilst positioning for a field landing. It struck the ground with a high rate of descent killing the pilot.
(See AAIB Bulletin 04/2010).

31 May
Jantar Standard: Long Mynd, Somerset
The pilot was killed when the glider crashed.
(See AAIB Bulletin 12/2009)

HELICOPTERS

15 November
Robinson R22: Nr Macclesfield, Cheshire
The 69 year old owner pilot was making a local area flight from his private site where the helicopter was kept outside. Witnesses reported it had been circling for a few minutes at between 500 and 1,000 ft when a bang or clatter was heard and a forced landing may have been attempted. It crashed killing the pilot. Water ingress in the right magneto could have resulted in misfire. The pilot had a medical history which had not been declared to the CAA and was taking undeclared medication capable of producing a range of side effects. The pilot had 130 hours on type but had not flown in the previous 90 days.
(See AAIB Bulletin 12/2010).

22 September
Schweizer 269C: Nr Stalmine, Lancs
The helicopter took off from Blackpool Airport on a student training flight and had been seen manoeuvring over the beach before climbing away to about 400 ft. Blackpool ATC received a MAYDAY call including the word ‘failure’, with the low rpm warning tone sounding. It crashed with high vertical and very low forward speed killing both occupants, the attempted forced landing having been made downwind. The Instructor had 1,524 hours with 894 on type and 12 hours in the previous 28 days. The cause of the loss of engine power could not be determined.
(See AAIB Bulletin 12/2010)

5 April
Robinson R44 Amboise Dierre Airfield, Loire, France
In a very light wind the helicopter owned by a French Company was being hover taxied by the pilot to the fuel pumps where the passenger was seen by witnesses to have his hands on the controls when hovering. Pitch oscillations developed and became so severe that the helicopter crashed and burnt resulting in the death of all three occupants. The passenger was himself a qualified helicopter pilot and owner of a Bell Jet ranger but did not hold a R44 type rating. The accident was caused by simultaneous excessive and uncoordinated use of use of the controls by the two pilots. The 56 year old pilot had 318 hours with 112 on type whilst the passenger had 258 hours. The weight and cg position was within the prescribed limits and the autopsy did not reveal anything untoward.
(French BEA Accident Investigation Report).

14 February
Robinson R22: Nr Sandtoft, South Yorkshire
The solo pilot was killed when the helicopter crashed near Sandtoft Aerodrome.
(See AAIB Bulletin 10/2009)

MICROLIGHTS

4 April
Escapade Microlight: Shobdon, Herefordshire
While positioning the three axis microlight to join the circuit the pilot took action to avoid a departing aircraft which also dived to pass underneath the arriving aircraft which was on a conflicting track. The Escapade entered a spin from about 500ft aal. and crashed adjacent to the airfield killing both occupants. The pilot had flown 86 hours with 77 on type and had been to Shobdon on 6 previous occasions. The passenger was an experienced flex-wing pilot.
(See AAIB Bulletin 1/2010).

PARAGLIDERS

14 November
Nr. Aguergour, Morocco
The BHPA member was under training for his CP level and lost control whilst ridge soaring. He impacted the slope and died before reaching hospital. BHPA is investigating.

5 November
Nr. Anglou, Morocco
The BHPA is investigating the accident in which the CP level member lost control whilst ridge soaring and impacted the slope. He died soon after arrival in hospital.

9 August
Two Paragliders: Long Mynd, Shropshire
Two paragliders collided in mid-air resulting in the death of one of the pilots and serious injury to the other.

19 March
Nr Algodonales, Spain
While on a paragliding holiday with his own equipment, the paraglider which had been airborne for some minutes, was seen in a rapid spiral dive. The pilot did not appear to attempt to recover or to deploy his emergency chute. He crashed on a hillside and died before reaching hospital. The investigation was unable to positively establish a reason for the accident although it is suspected that an asymmetric collapse initiated the spiral dive.

POWERED PARAGLIDER

29 August
Paraglider: Nr Cheriton, Hants
The non-BHPA member pilot was flying at the annual August Festival at Cheriton. After waiting for suitable weather the pilot took off but after a few minutes returned to the field at about 100ft agl. and cut the engine prior to landing. The canopy rocked forward and suffered a large asymmetric collapse. It dived and turned through 180 degrees as it re-inflated but there was insufficient room to fully recover. The pilot died later from his injuries. The BHPA formal investigation concluded the pilot lost control in pitch in demanding weather conditions.
(BHPA Report).

GYROPLANES

11 October
Montgomerie-Bensen B8MR: Nr Little Rissington Airfield, Glos
The student was carrying out his first solo circuits. On base leg of the second circuit he lost control resulting in a steep nose down attitude or 'tumbling' for undetermined reasons, crashing near vertically with little or no forward speed with contact between the rotor and propeller. The pilot was a retired professional pilot with over 10,000 hours and was undergoing a formal course of training. He had a pre-existing medical condition that could have led to distraction or temporary incapacitation.
(See AAIB Bulletin 8/2010).

9 March
Rotorsport UK MT-03: Long Marston
Whilst following a hunt, the gyroplane struck and fatally injured a man. The accident is under investigation by the police and AAIB.


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