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Occurrences

A selection of recent occurrences is shown strictly for the purpose of maintaining or improving aviation safety and should not be used to attribute blame or liability.

Aircraft electrical system issues and reported smoke in the cockpit.

A Full Emergency was initiated to facilitate an aircraft, on day VFR flight following the pilots declaration of issues with the aircraft electrical system and reported smoke in the cockpit. The pilot subsequently requested an immediate diversion. The aircraft landed safely on the non-duty runway without further incident. From an ATC perspective no further action is required.

Missed approach due to landing gear extension failure.

On final approach just before Glide slope intercept, when actioning the gear selector handle to the down position, no gear movement was observed, both aurally or visually by reference to indicator lights. The red gear selector handle light did not illuminate to indicate a gear in transit/unsafe condition.We commented on the observation and discovered that the landing gear relay circuit breaker had tripped. We abandoned the Glide slope descent and continued on the localiser maintaining 2000ft. We agreed, in accordance with the qrh, that this was an essential circuit breaker for the safe continuation of the flight and reset it once. Upon resetting the circuit breaker we re-cycled the gear selector handle up and then down again upon which the red handle light illuminated but still no gear movement was observed. Once again the landing gear relay circuit breaker had tripped. We decided to abandon the approach and requested vectors out over the sea to investigate the problem. After referring to the qrh and conducting a dodar, we elected for manual gear extension. It had been decided at this stage due to the nature of the medical emergency we were engaged in, that we would land and a pan call was declared. The paramedic and team were informed of the situation and were advised to strap in securely and be ready to assume the brace position prior to touch down, as a precaution. A second approach was commenced following the instructions in the qrh and control was handed over to the Captain and an uneventful landing ensued.

Exited Runway during touch and go.


Solo student was carrying out circuits on left hand circuit. Touched down at an angle, altering his direction of travel towards the grass to the south of the runway. The student reacted by reducing the power to idle and landing on the grass. The view of this incident was obstructed by trees which had grown to cover some parts of the runway. When the FISO verified that aircraft had exited the runway to the south the crash alarm was sounded. Pilot confirmed that he was fine and was asked to shut down and await assistance. The runway was temporarily categorised black. After the student was collected by the RFFS, the aircraft was inspected and deemed to be undamaged, and so taxied back by aninstructor.

Seat lock spring failure on take-off.


My flying partner and I checked out my aircraft and prepared for start-up. As I am aware of the seat failure situation, I always lock the pin in place and then “rattle” the seat back and forth to check that it is locked. Having completed my pre-flight checks (including a further seat “rattle”) I lined up on the runway. I rotated the aircraft and were about 10 feet off the ground when my seat suddenly shot backwards. My arms were at full stretch and I could not reach the rudder pedals or throttle. My co-pilot took control and pushed the yoke forward, the aircraft wallowed then went downwards picking up speed. We cleared the runway and climbed out and, with my co-pilot flying a circuit, I pulled my seat forward and locked the pin again. I noticed that it did not have any tension from the spring that pulls it downwards and keeps it in place. We decided that I would land the aircraft but he would follow me through and take control for a go around if necessary. I landed OK and taxied back to the ramp. Upon examination, we found that the spring had broken. I took out the spring and with a pair of pliers tried to bend the top of the spring which snapped off. I bent another bit and that snapped off. The spring, which I assume was the same age as the aircraft, was completely metal fatigued. I have now changed both front seat springs but it occurred to me that they have a limited life and should be periodically replaced. Unfortunately, the manufacturer charges £25 for each spring which may discourage owners from replacing them voluntarily at regular intervals.

Engine failure during take-off. MAYDAY declared.


This was my first flight in the aircraft since its annual maintenance. A pilot from the maintenance organisation had ferried it back 6 days earlier. I had booked out for a split detail, starting with some touch and goes, followed by general handling to the north of the airfield. The engine failed during take off from the second touch and go on runway 28. At 300 ft, I raised the flaps, then felt a judder which I couldn't identify, but in retrospect reminds me of what happens when manually switching ECUs during pre-takeoff checks. At about 550 ft, as I was turning onto crosswind, the engine lost power so I continued the turn, while calling Mayday, and landed. As I slowed on the runway, the propeller stopped turning, and I was unable to restart the engine after coming to a halt. The fuel totalizer showed 20.4 USG remaining. The emergency services arrived promptly and arranged for the aircraft to be towed back to its hangar.

Outbound aircraft taxied across a red stop-bar onto runway.


I was supervising an ADI student. An aircraft from a based flying club was approaching Charlie for runway 19. The pilot advised she was holding at Charlie and was ready for departure. The student told the pilot to squawk 4520 and climb not above altitude 2000ft until advised by radar, the standard VFR departure instructions. The level was read back but not the squawk, so the student again told the pilot to squawk 4520. The pilot once again failed to read back the squawk and was observed to taxi across a red stop-bar, through Charlie and onto runway 19. The student immediately told the aircraft to hold position, obtained a readback of the squawk and then cleared the aircraft for take-off with no further incident.

A small convoy of vehicles crossed threshold whilst an aircraft was on short finals.

A small convoy of vehicles crossed the threshold via the vehicle crossing at the traffic light from the tower. The tower assistant observed the escort vehicle stopped short of the crossing lights on the South side of the runway and advised the AFISO that vehicle had turned back to re-cross the runway. With approaching aircraft on short final, the AFISO advised the aircraft to go around. The vehicle stopped short of the runway edge when the driver became visual with the aircraft. The member of staff was spoken too by the ADM and briefed not to undertake similar tasks again, but to contact airfield operations to request an escort.   

Bird strike.

On the transit from task a reasonably large bang was heard which appeared to originate from the rear cabin area. It sounded like something had dropped onto the cabin floor and it was assumed that the monitor on its pedestal had dropped. When turning finals, debris of an undisclosed nature passed the pilots window. During the post flight walk around it was noted that a bird had impacted the aircraft at the root area of the wiper blade and had divided to both oil cooler intakes and engine air intakes. Engineering informed via out of hours email contact and the aircraft placed unserviceable. The initial bang occurred at approximately 1300 Feet IAS 90 Knots.

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