Nayland: Pilot blames tailwind for airfield crash
A PILOT who crashed while landing at an airfield on the border of Essex and Suffolk blamed a strong tailwind and his heavy plane, investigators have reported.
The 45-year-old pilot received minor injuries while his passenger was left with a fractured wrist, ankle and facial cuts after the botched landing at Nayland Airfield.
An Air Accident Investigation Branch report said the pilot had touched down further along the runway than intended and at a faster speed.
He applied power to regain height but the landing gear hit a hedge and the Europa plane travelled through a field before coming to a rest in the driveway of Smokey Farm, Campions Hill.
The report said that the pilot, who had 309 hours of experience, had visited the airfield before the flight from Beccles to consult a local pilot about conditions.
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Giving his evidence to investigators he said that it would have been “prudent” to have abandoned his landing attempt.
The report states: “The pilot considered that the aircraft may have been affected by an increasing tailwind as it became airborne at the crest of the hill.
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“He felt that a combination of the tailwind, low airspeed and relatively high aircraft weight had contributed to the accident.”
The report continues: “He reflected that it would have been prudent to have discontinued the landing attempt in the prevailing tailwind conditions.”
The investigation also revealed how the injured pilot had turned off the plane’s fuel and helped his more seriously injured passenger escape from the wreckage.
All emergency services were called to the incident, which happened in June this year, and the passenger was taken to Colchester Hospital. The pilot followed soon after for a check up.