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Aircraft crashed on take-off from Welshpool Airport

 
Created on 21/08/2016 @ 20:15
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A light aircraft crashed on take-off from Welshpool Airport an Air Accident Investigation Branch report has revealed.

The report, which has only just been released, follows an incident back on March 13 when a Rans S5 Coyote crashed into a ploughed field when attempting a take-off from the airport.

“The pilot was conducting an impromptu investigation of the aircraft’s minimum unstick speed,” says the report. “However, as he abandoned the take-off, he was unable to prevent a turn to the right and the aircraft landed heavily in a ploughed field to the right of the runway.

The report states that the Coyote was being flown by a 60-year-old pilot with 880 hours’ flying experience and he was believed unharmed in the 8-30am incident which left the aircraft with damage to the right main and nose landing gears along with the propeller and main engine mounts.

“The pilot arrived at Welshpool Airport to find that the lengthy flight he had planned would not be possible due to low cloud,” continues the report.

“The aircraft had been fully refuelled the day before in anticipation of the intended flight and he states that he decided to perform a ‘test flight’ to investigate the minimum unstick speed in this slightly heavier-than-normal condition.

“Having done this, he would continue to fly a circuit to reassess the weather conditions; the wind was calm.

“As he was about halfway along the Runway 22 during the take-off roll, using somewhat less than full power and balancing the aircraft on its mainwheels only, he became unhappy with the restricted forward visibility due to the extremely nose-high attitude.

“Fearing that he might run off the right side of the runway and potentially strike an edge light, he applied full power to clear the lights but was now faced with a dilemma – if he cut the power and abandoned the take-off, he would probably overrun into the boundary hedge.

“The pilot instead chose to remain airborne under full power in the hope that he would clear the hedge, although he now realised that the aircraft was travelling nearly at right angles to the runway over a ploughed field with the right wing very close to stalled.

“Any attempt to straighten up using left rudder would now leave it flying towards power cables, so he initially chose to accept the turn to the right and continue under full power.

“However, when he realised that this could make matters worse, he throttled back and accepted a very heavy landing in the ploughed field which collapsed the right and nose landing gear legs.”

 

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