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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.

Forced Landing in a farm field. 

Whilst recovering to airfield the engine stopped and a forced landing was made in a farmer's field. The flight was planned to take 1 hour 15 minutes and 9 gallons of fuel were in the aircraft (gauge assessed). After 1hr 10mins of flight the aircraft was positioned for a dead side join from 1500ft with 3 gallons of fuel indicated in the main tank. A blind call was made to join and approx 6nm SE of the airfield the engine stopped. The aircraft was trimmed for a 50kt glide, carb heat was selected, the fuel change over lever was positioned to the 'aux' tank and a pan call was made. The engine did not restart and it was noted that the gauge was reading 1 gallon of fuel. A recently cropped field was selected and a 'final' call was made to the controller. After landing all occupants evacuated the aircraft uninjured and it was made safe. A telephone call was made to ATC.
The Supervisor acknowledged the call and cancelled D + D action. There was no damage to the aircraft.

Precautionary landing due to radio and SRR failure. 

At 1720 APR advised me that SSR and R/T contact had been lost with a/c. A primary contact was observed routing towards the airfield, shortly after an aircraft was observed in the overhead orbiting. A Local Standby was initiated and light signals were shown from the TWR. At 1731 a/c landed safely, the pilot reported an Alternator failure to the attending RFFS vehicle. A/c suffered radio and SSR failure when on a transit flight, he joined the circuit non-radio and landed safely after receiving light signals from the tower. This was an unexpected arrival which caused a delay to inbound scheduled traffic because the intentions of the non-radio a/c were unknown. This was exacerbated when the a/c went around from its first approach because he lost sight of the light signals from the tower. ATC dealt with the situation competently.

Aircraft diverted due to smoke in cockpit.

Smoke seen coming from radio comms panel turned off the radio, the smoke stopped, about one minute later, smoke seen coming from landing light switch, I turned off the landing light and master switch and diverted and landed safely.

Supplementary 7/7/16: A squawk had been allocated as the pilot had been receiving a traffic service for a short time. At the time of the incident the pilot had downgraded to a basic service. At around 1740 the pilot advised that he was switching off his avionics. No reason was given and the pilot sounded calm at the time. At 1747 the tower controller received a telephone call from the flying school advising that they had received a telephone call reporting that he had a possible electrical fire and was diverting elsewhere. The school were not aware of aircraft's location at the time of the call. D+D were advised at 1750. R/T calls were broadcast as the aircraft had not yet reported leaving the frequency. No response was received. At 1755 the flying school rang ATC again and advised that aircraft had landed safely.

Dangerous manoeuvring near to fuel pumps. 

An aircraft had been refuelled by the pilot prior to a flight to France. The aircraft was parked adjacent to the fuel pumps, inside an area clearly marked as 'no props turning'. The aircraft was heard to start engines and then proceeded to taxi towards the fuel pumps, where a technician wearing a high visibility vest was working. The aircraft turned, narrowly missing the pump with the wing tip and then taxied over the fuel line that had been left lying on the ground. The aircraft was seen to rock as a result of passing over the fuel line. The position of the aircraft on start up and taxi was such that the pilots view of approaching traffic was limited. This action was considered to be dangerous, not only to the technician working on the pumps, but as the brakes had not been tested at that point in the taxi, it could have had much more serious consequences, not least the potential to damage the aircraft and fuel lines. A local problem report was raised by the observer, after reporting the incident to the Director of Safety. The pilot was advised of the problem report raised and has been interviewed subsequently by the Accountable Manager, Head of Training and Company Director. The submission of this report has been delayed pending the interview so that all information could be included. A full review to check the robustness of the current risk management procedures for the fuel farm to be undertaken by the Airfield Operations and Compliance Manager and submitted to the Board of Directors. A reminder to all home based pilots regarding the safety procedures to be followed when using the fuel farm and surrounding areas, to be issued. The pilot has been suspended from flying Club owned aircraft until the outcome of this MOR is determined.

Total Electrical failure. 

I was the duty ADI controller during this incident. I was informed by ground handling staff that they had received a text from a pilot stating that his aircraft had suffered a radio failure en route. The radar controller called the pilot's mobile number and ascertained that the aircraft had suffered a total electrical failure, but the pilot did not declare an emergency nor did the tone of his voice indicate any undue stress. The phone connection died midway through the conversation. I was able to phone the pilot and gave him the surface wind and told him to expect light signals for a landing clearance. RFFS were placed on local standby. The aircraft joined through the overhead and positioned downwind, with light signals being shown as the aircraft turned final and landed safely. The aircraft taxied to the Apron, followed by RFFS. A subsequent runway inspection was made and no FOD or defects were found.


Elevator Controls Progressively Stiffened During Flight. 

Pre-flight, a full and free check of the controls was made, the check appeared normal however looking back after the incident there may have been a slight catch when pulling aft on the controls, not enough to suggest any issue at the time. The majority of the flight continued with normal control inputs, however, during the last 10 minutes of flight I felt restriction in the movement of the controls both forward and aft, especially during the flare. We were already on a PAN due a separate incident with the gear therefore we already had priority handling with EMA. After landing I noticed greater stiffness in the control column to the point where it stayed full aft when let go (usually they return full forward on their own). During the investigation in the hangar it was found that the panel on the left hand side of the pedestal was distorted and rubbing against the elevator control bell crank. The reason for the panel being distorted was due to the upper forward securing bolt spacer being missing. With the spacer missing it resulted in the bolt being overtightened which subsequently distorted the panel. Which then impeded on the elevator bell crank. On removing the panel the missing spacer was found lodged between the elevator cables and the floor of the aircraft. The cables and pulley assemblies were visually inspected and the spacer was relocated in its correct position. A full and free range of movement checks were carried out and the defect cleared. Although the distorted panel was found to be rubbing against the bell crank, it is believed that this was secondary to the prime cause of the defect, which was the spacer becoming lodged between the elevator cables and floor of the aircraft. The reasoning behind this train of thought is that the defect appeared to progressively get worse as the flight progressed. The distorted panel rubbing on the bell crank would remain the same friction during the flight and would not have progressively become worse as the flight progressed. Where the missing spacer was found the geometrics of the cable runs and angles to which they pass through the floor, would have caused the spacer to gradually wedge itself tighter the more the control cables moved. The elevator systems were disturbed during the check for routine maintenance and also the system was broken down to enable worn elevator control cable pulleys to be replaced. It is believed that the spacer was dislodged and not secured correctly during the re-assembly process of the panel fitment. A duplicate inspection had been called up and carried out on the elevator system according to the paperwork. It is fully appreciated that the first and second inspections may not have picked up on any restrictions in the elevator system during the free and full range checks, however the distorted panel was clearly visible and an investigation into why this was would have resulted in the missing spacer being discovered prior to flight.

Full Emergency due to serious malfunction of all instruments. 

Flight called en route with a serious malfunction of all of his instruments approx 10nm North of the airfield at FL65. He describes a Pan or Mayday situation and requests to land with 1 pob. Full Emergency declared by ATC. The pilot comments that he does not trust his instruments, his PSD is not working and false airspeed indication is being given which is causing the auto pilot to put the aircraft in a dive. The aircraft is given QDM'S and makes a Left Base Join VFR Runway. Lands on assigned Runway with fire vehicles in attendance. Full Emergency stood down.

Fumes in Cockpit. 

After completing power checks the aircraft was taxied to the holding point ready for departure. During the power checks all engine readings were normal. After being given clearance to take-off the power was increased and the oil pressure was noted to increase. After the engine power stabilised and during the take-off run the temperatures and pressures were checked again and all including the oil pressure were reading in the green and normal. Immediately before rotation the Ts and Ps were checked again and it was found that the oil pressure had gone to max high deflection and was now in the red zone. At the same time a burning smell was detected in the cockpit. The smell was like one that might be the result of an electrical issue. Immediate actions were to close the throttle and abort the take-off. ATC was then informed that I was aborting the take-off.

The aircraft exited from the RWY. Upon exiting the RWY the aircraft did not exhibit any unusual indications and the smell dissipated. However, due to the nature of the occurrence I requested fire assistance via ATC in case of any further issues, and inspection of the aircraft before taxi back.




 


 




 






 

 


 

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