Fatal Accident News 2017


17 November                       
Guimbal Cabri G-2 & Cessna 152: G-JAMM/G-WACG - Waddesdon, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks
The helicopter and the Cessna, both from Wycombe Air Park, collided over Waddesdon Manor estate killing the two occupants in each of the aircraft.  (Source: ASN & Media).

28 September
Europa Monowheel:  G-MIME: Grove Farm Strip, Wolvey, Warwickshire
The aircraft took off from Runway 29 at Grove Farm with a pilot and passenger on board who, according to witnesses, intended to fly into the local area.  After takeoff, for a reason that was not determined, the aircraft was immediately positioned for an approach to land.  The aircraft touched down beyond the threshold of the runway, bounced and touched down again with insufficient distance to stop before a substantial hedge at the end of the runway. It passed through the hedge, caught fire and came to rest in the field beyond.  Although both the pilot and passenger survived the accident, they subsequently died of the burns they sustained.  The aircraft had touched down approx 73 metres from the start of the 350 metre long strip.  Technical examination was limited by the severity and extent of the post accident fire.  Birmingham airport 15 miles to the west reported a southerly wind of 8 kts visibility greater than 10 km and few cloud above 3,000 ft and a temperature of 18 deg C.  The pilot held a PPL(A) and was familiar with operating a microlight from Grove Farm but less so with the Europa which he had moved to the strip.  The strip was adequate for the Europa at maximum operating weight allowing for the performance factors for dry grass and safety margin.  The 55 year old pilot had flown a total of 546 hours with 45 on type and 12 hours in the last 90 days.  (AAIB Bulletin 4/2018).  

11 September            
Piper PA-28RT-201 Cherokee Arrow: G-BHAY: Wolferton, Norfolk
The aircraft was based at Newcastle Airport and in July 2017 the pilot flew it via France to Menorca, Spain.  In September 2017, the pilot and passenger flew it back from Menorca, through France, bound for Newcastle.  On 10 September due to poor weather they landed at Southend Airport and stayed overnight.  On 11 September at 09.53 the aircraft took off from Southend for Newcastle.  At 09.53 hrs, when the aircraft was over the Wash at 3,300 ft the pilot transmitted a Mayday later followed by “engine has failed”.  At this point the aircraft was at about 1,400 ft amsl.  Witnesses saw the aircraft with it’s gear down and propeller stationary turn right and stall impacting an old sea wall killing both occupants.  Inspection revealed a large hole in the crankcase near the base of No. 4 cylinder.  The catastrophic engine failure was due to oil loss caused by damage and premature wear to the oil control rings. The Lycoming IO-360- C!C6 engine had been inactive for several months, and probably had not been inhibited in accordance with the manufacturers guidance, leading to the formation of corrosion within the engine.  There are methods to prevent deterioration by a process known as ‘inhibiting’ and the engine manufacturer, Lycoming, issued specific guidance on this in Service Letter Number L180B, dated 13 November 2001 notes that corrosion can occur in a short period of time.  The aircraft had been owned by a syndicate since 1987 and was usually hangared at Newcastle Airport and maintained at Carlisle. The log book shows that it had been flown by only two people, mostly by the accident pilot. Only one flight (in October 2015) was recorded between January 2015 and October 2016. The aircraft had been parked outside at Newcastle, some 9 nm from the sea, from November 2015 to July 2016, including a prolonged period of bad weather in December 2015.  The annual maintenance requirements during the period of inactivity had not been carried out but on 10 October 2016, it was authorised for a single ferry flight from Newcastle to Carlisle for the now-overdue annual maintenance inspection, recorded in the journey log as 20 minutes. It was stored in a hangar at Carlisle and underwent its Annual Maintenance Check on 14th March 2017 maintenance which included a compression check.  The last entry in the journey log was on 13 August 2017 with 31 hours remaining to its 50-hour check. It was most likely that the deterioration occurred after the Annual Inspection.  The 58 year old pilot had flown 1,129 hours of which 406 were on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 8/2018).   

9 September
Piper PA34-200T Seneca: G-STZA - nr Biella - Cerrione Airport, Italy
The aircraft impacted a hill close to the airport, (40nm NE of Turin), killing the pilot, the sole occupant.  It had departed from a private airstrip near Piovera. (Source: ASN).

6 September                
Piper PA31 Navajo:  N Reg: Caernarfon Airport, Wales
While landing the aircraft crashed on the runway and caught fire killing the sole occupant.  (Source: ASN)

26 August

DH82a Tiger Moth: Nr Compton Abbas Airfield, Dorset
Both occupants died when the aircraft crashed close to the airfield.  (Source ASN & media).

13 July

Diamond HK36 Super Dimona: Nr Marlborough, Wilts
While en-route the self launching motor glider crashed killing both occupants.  (Source: ASN) 

18 June
Auster AOP9: Nr Spanhoe, Northants
The pilot was killed and the passenger seriously injured when the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Spanhoe airfield. (Source: ASN). 

28 May 
Europa: Nr Coal Aston Airfield, Apperknowle, Derbyshire
The aircraft which was kept in a hangar at the airfield took off from Coal Aston Airfield, 720 ft amsl, but did not achieve a normal rate of climb.  At the end of the 610 metre long runway witnesses saw it turn to the left, it then stalled, descended and crashed in an adjacent field killing the pilot the sole occupant.  The pilot was possibly attempting to land back at the airfield.  The evidence indicates that the engine suffered a partial loss of power, probably as a result of fuel vapour disrupting the fuel supply to the engine.  It was found that the fuel vapour return line had been connected to the inlet of the fuel selector valve, rather than to the fuel tank.  Any vapour in the fuel system was therefore routed back to the engine instead of returning to the fuel tank to dissipate. This aircraft and engine combination can be approved to use E5 Mogas (containing Ethanol) and although it was fitted with the required placards, no log book entry or checklist could be found to show the required procedure to use E5 Mogas had been completed or verified by an LAA inspector.  A partial loss of engine power after takeoff presents a more complex decision to a pilot than a complete engine power loss. With an engine that is still providing some power, a pilot can be led to consider a turnback towards the runway instead of accepting a forced landing ahead. However, in turning back, they may then find themselves in a worsening situation; manoeuvring and turning downwind at low level and low speed carry a significant risk of loss of control.  Additionally, engine power may be unreliable resulting in a total power loss at a potentially critical time.  On 19 July 2017 the LAA issued Airworthiness Information Leaflet LAA/MOD/247/010. This required a mandatory inspection, before next flight of all Europa aircraft operating under an LAA administered Permit to Fly. The inspection was to check for the correct installation of a fuel vapour return line. .The 79 year old pilot had been flying since 1991 and had a total of 1,146 hours with 880 on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 11/2017). 

25 May
Piper PA28R-201: Cherokee Arrow: G-CEOF: 2nm NE of Skipness, Kintyre Peninsular, Scotland
The pilot chartered the aircraft from Carlisle Airport on 20 May 2017 to fly to Oban Airport.  The intention was to return to Carlisle on 24 May 2017 but the weather wasn’t suitable.  On 25th May he delayed his departure after checking the weather with Carlisle, Oban and via mobile devices.  He had already been delayed by 24 hours and before departing Oban, arranged for a taxi to meet him at Carlisle to take him and his passenger to the railway station.  He eventually took off at 10.25 and at 10.40 he relayed via a second aircraft a message to Scottish Information that he was at 1,000 ft over Lochgilphead and was routing to Carlisle via the Turnberry VOR.  Scottish provided a transponder code for the Basic Service.  Approx 20 minutes later they had not heard from G-CEOF so the FISO checked with 5 airfields to see if anyone was in contact and at 11.15 hrs reported his concerns to the Watch Manager and to the D & D Cell at Swanwick.  Finally, at 13.20 hrs D & D alerted the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) and at 14.40 floating wreckage was sighted in the sea.  Poor visibility (3000m in mist and occasional 200 m in fog with widespread hill fog) had been forecast south of Lochgilphead and as the aircraft flew down Loch Fyne, the visibility would have reduced to below that permitted for VFR flight. Although he had started an IMC course and had logged 1½ hrs of instrument time, the pilot was not qualified to fly in IMC.  It was concluded that the accident probably occurred as a result of the aircraft being flown, in poor visibility, into the sea at its cruise speed of 130 kts.  As a result of the delay in alerting the ARCC the CAA and D & D recommend that GA pilots who fly in the Scottish Highlands and Islands or other remote areas, should file a Flight Plan.  The 62 year old pilot had flown approx 219 hrs with 38 on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 5/2018).    

15 Jan        
Piper PA30 Twin Comanche: G-ATMT: Nr Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, Stokenchurch, Oxon

The pilot was making a private flight from Turweston Airfield to Chalgrove Airfield to pick up two passengers for an onward flight.  At Turweston he studied the actual and forecast weather for RAF Benson (near Chalgrove Airfield) and East Midlands Airport (near his onward destination).  He also considered other weather information available online before deciding that he would make the flight.  After departure shortly after reaching 2,000 ft amsl, the aircraft descended to approximately 1,000 ft amsl and, at a point where a right turn would have been appropriate for a visual approach to its destination, it turned left towards high ground which was in cloud. It was not determined when the aircraft transitioned from VMC to IMC but it flew in IMC below MSA for at least 1 minute 45 seconds before flying into trees at 920 ft amsl on the top of rising ground, killing the pilot.  Low cloud on the ridge prevented a police helicopter from reaching the site.  The forecast visibility was expected to be 15 km but occasionally it was expected to be as low as 2,000 m in mist, rain and drizzle, and there would be occasional areas of hill fog. The cloud base would be at ground level in any hill fog.  The pilot held an EASA Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL(A)) with a Multi-engine Piston Rating  and Instrument Rating (Restricted) (IR(R)) which is the UK IMC Rating as it appears in a UK-issued Part-FCL licence.  The pilot’s flying logbook contained no entries after 25 February 2016. The owner of the aircraft recalled that the pilot flew on 8 and 29 November 2016 for a combined total of 2 hours 35 minutes.  The next scheduled maintenance inspection (6 month check) was due on 19 October 2016 or at 6,237 flying hours. No record could be found of this check having been carried out, although the owner of the aircraft stated that the pilot normally carried out this inspection.  The 64 year old pilot had 10,673 hours with 2,140 on type and had flown 3 hrs in the previous 90 days.   (AAIB Bulletin 10/2017)  


17 November                       
Guimbal Cabri G-2 & Cessna 152: G-JAMM/G-WACG - Waddesdon, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks
The helicopter and the Cessna, both from Wycombe Air Park, collided over Waddesdon Manor estate killing the two occupants in each of the aircraft.  (Source: ASN & Media).

5 May
AS350B3: Wycombe Air Park
The helicopter ended up on its side north of the runway injuring the occupants one of whom subsequently died.  (Source Media)

29 March          
Airbus Helicopters AS355F1 Ecuriel ll: Summit of Rhinog Fawr, Snowdonia, Wales
The helicopter carrying the pilot and four family members was flying on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight plan from its operating base at Brook Farm near Cranfield Airport on a direct track to a private site near Dublin. The weather on departure was suitable for VFR flight but, as forecast, deteriorated markedly in the area of Snowdonia with low cloud and rain. The helicopter flew over a witness 4.3 nm southeast of the accident site before disappearing into the cloud. Shortly afterwards it struck the east side of Rhinog Fawr Mountain, fatally injuring the five occupants. At the moment of impact, at cruising speed the auto pilot was engaged with the heading (HDG), turn coordinator (T/C) and vertical speed (V/S) modes active. This was consistent with a pilot-managed, autopilot-flown descent.  The pilot was an experienced private helicopter pilot and had renewed his Licence Proficiency Check (LPC) on 17 August 2016.  He held a PPL(H) with an AS355 type rating, a night rating and a current class two medical certificate.  He did not hold any instrument flying qualification.  As part of the renewal process, the pilot was required to demonstrate level turns to the left and right on instruments, and maintaining altitude, whilst wearing ‘Foggles’.  This was intended to demonstrate that, should an inadvertent entry be made into cloud, the pilot would be able to reverse the aircraft’s track and return to an area clear of the cloud.  If unable to maintain VMC the pilot had the option to turn back, divert or land.  The western parts of Snowdonia and the Welsh coastal areas would have had extensive hill fog, cloud bases being between 200 and 400 ft amsl.  As well as the poor cloud bases and visibility, moderate turbulence may have been experienced.  If he had continued, the poor visibility and low cloud forecast for and reported at Valley, combined with low cloud in the Dublin area, would have meant a low level crossing of the Irish Sea in marginal weather conditions.  However, if he did check the terrain ahead from his chart or iPad he may have then been aware of the rising ground. Given that the cloud would have meant the pilot was now flying in IMC and as the helicopter’s GNS430 was not fitted with the terrain warning modification, there was no other means of warning the pilot of the rising ground.  The All Up Weight (AUW) of the helicopter at takeoff was approximately 2,555 kg, assuming full fuel and estimated weights for the passengers and the small amount of luggage. The Maximum Permitted All Up Weight (MPAUW) was 2,400 kg. Consequently the helicopter was approximately 155 kg over MPAUW on departure, though some fuel would have been consumed during start and prior to takeoff.  The 56 year old pilot had flown approx 3,650 hours with 102 on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 3/2018).   


14 July
Schenpp-Hirth Ventus 2CT: Nr Val de Pres, French Alps
The glider crashed at 7,550 ft in mountainous terrain, killing the pilot the sole occupant. (Source ASN & media).

8 April              
SZD-55-1: G-CKLR: Nr Currock Hill Airfield, Nr Chopwell, Cumbria/Tyne & Wear
During a towed launch, the glider was seen to climb rapidly. After disconnecting from the tow rope with a very high pitch angle, the glider rolled to the right and descended before crashing in a nose-down attitude. The pilot was fatally injured.   The investigation determined that the elevator control connection had not been correctly made when the glider was rigged and this condition was not detected prior to the flight.  Consequently, during the launch, the pilot would have been unable to control the pitch of the glider.  It was found that an historic and unapproved modification which enlarged the elevator slot on the tail fin significantly increased the opportunity for mis-rigging.  As a result, the European Aviation Safety Agency took safety action to mandate an inspection of similar gliders. The 62 year old pilot had flown 18,800 hrs with 39 on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 3/2018)


9 December
Microlight:  Skyranger Nynja: Chiswell Green Airfield, St. Albans, Herts
The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Chiswell Green, the pilot died as result of his injuries. (Source ASN).

5 October           
Kolb Twinstar MkIIIM:  G-MYOO - Marim-Quelfes airfield, Olhao, Portugal
The three axis microlight flown by two UK pilots performed two dual touch and go check circuits before landing to drop off the other pilot.  The pilot then took off solo from the 200 metre long runway and after passing overhead the airfield, lost directional control in a turn, stalled and crashed killing the pilot.  The wind was calm with visibility of more than 10 km.  An incorrect control input may have occurred as result of the pilot's lack of training and experience.  The aircraft does not have a stall warner.  It had been registered in the pilot’s name on 29th May 2014 and the Permit to Fly had expired on 9th April 2015. There was no evidence that the pilot had to performed any maintenance on the aircraft or to maintain its annual certificate of validity for its Permit.  Both the aircraft and pilot were operating illegally in a country outside of the original state of registration of the aircraft and state of pilot’s qualifications.  He did not have the necessary documents to be able to fly in Portugal.  This accident may have resulted from pilot loss of control in flight because the pilot had no training and his experience was very limited on the aircraft type and on other types. The pilot held a UK NPPL and was believed to have flown 83 hours with 10 on type.  (GPIAA Report 08/ACCID/2017). 

20 June                      
Kolb Firefly: G-CEPN: N Cottered Strip, Luffenhall, Herts
The pilot drove to the airfield from his home with the Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) aircraft on a trailer.   There he rigged it.  The strip is 500 m long and the pilot was familiar with it.  Shortly after takeoff from runway 25, approximately one mile from the runway, the aircraft was seen by witnesses and CCTV to enter a steep descending left turn from which it did not recover before striking the ground vertically.  Analysis of CCTV footage confirmed that, immediately before the final manoeuvre, the aircraft’s speed was above the predicted stall speed.  It is highly unlikely, therefore, that a stall or spin entry was a factor in this event.  The investigation was unable to identify any defect which would have prevented the aircraft from responding normally to the pilot’s control inputs.  Luton airport 13 nm SW of Cottered and Stansted 13 nm SE, both reported light easterly winds with no cloud, good visibility and a temperature of 24 deg C.  The pilot had been flying microlight aircraft for many years and had extensive experience on a number of different types.  Up to the flight of 20 June 2017 he had not flown for some months, due to technical issues with the aircraft as well as personal reasons.  As his class rating for microlights had been issued prior to 1 February 2008, he was not required to have any flights with an instructor to renew his rating by experience. There was no record of him having flown any dual flights since he received his licence in 1990.  He appears not to have flown for over six months, so he was out of recent flying practice, but it is not known whether this was a factor.  The 71 year old pilot had flown 5,215 hours of which 342 were on type.  (AAIB Bulletin 3/2018)