Latest AAIB Bulletin
Sad to say there were two fatal accidents leading to three deaths reported in the May 2017 bulletin from the Air Accident Investigation Branch.
In the first, the 25 year old pilot and his passenger were students at the Tucano phase of their RAF training and had flown the Grob Tutor during their initial training. The pilot had 215 hours including 3 on type and 14 in the past 28 days. The aircraft, a rented civilian Slingsby T67M Firefly, was engaged in a general handling flight which included aerobatics. A witness saw the aircraft carry out a loop and, having passed the apex of the manoeuvre, enter what appeared to be a spin. The aircraft did not recover from the spin and struck the surface of a ploughed field, fatally injuring both on board.
The GASCo Stall and Spin study reported in 2010:
The Slingsby T67 stood out strongly, not just because of 8 fatal accidents to the 80 on register, but because it was the only type with a record of unrecoverable intentional spins from a supposedly safe height, with a spin-trained pilot in command and no other known factors.
In the other fatal accident the 61 year old pilot of an Ikarus C42 had 117 hours and was converting from weight shift to three axis microlights. Following three successful dual flights the pilot took off solo. The aircraft was seen to become airborne and then climb very steeply, achieving an extreme nose-up attitude. The left wing dropped and the aircraft struck the ground. The report concludes that either the accident pilot had made a deliberate and sustained aft side stick control input, or a failure of the aircraft occurred, resulting in the steep climb and a reduction in airspeed.
GASCo offers it sincere sympathy to the families and friends of the three who died.
Of the 11 remaining accidents seven were landing accidents. While this proportion is typical, in this month’s reports no less than four of these were the result of gear failure. There is one instance of a Europa landing on an unlicensed strip and falling backwards over an eroded cliff edge. The pilot used his PLB to summon assistance but managed to get to a house before help arrived. In another accident that old enemy of the competent pre flight check - distraction - led to an engine cowling not being properly fastened and detaching in flight.