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Light aircraft crash caused ‘substantial damage’

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Posted on : April 19, 2020

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The glider was waiting to launch when it was hit by the aircraft

A pilot walked away unhurt after a light aircraft blown off course crashed into a glider, causing “substantial damage”, a report found.

The glider was preparing for take-off at Gransden Lodge Airfield, near Great Gransden, Cambridgeshire, when the collision happened on 27 October.

The Jabiru UL-450 (G-ROYC) had drifted due to a crosswind, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found.

One of the two people in the Jabiru sustained a minor injury.

The aircraft had been slightly above the maximum take-off weight, leading to the plane coming in too low and hitting the glider, the AAIB said.

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The Jabiru UL-450 (G-ROYC) was landing at Gransden Lodge Airfield in Cambridgeshire

Two experienced pilots were in the Jabiru but the pilot flying it had never been in control of that type of aircraft before.

When trying to apply full power, he “inadvertently closed the throttle” which saw a slight reduction in power, leading to a loss of height.

He also “inadvertently” allowed the flaps to be up which can decrease lift and meant the aircraft could not climb higher to avoid the glider.

The report added a “combination of the crosswind from the right” and the aircraft’s “natural tendency” to deviate to the left when power is applied were likely to have “caused the aircraft to drift”.

The glider pilot was “assisted” out of the wreckage, while the two people in the other aircraft exited “unaided”.

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The light aircraft came to rest about 25 metres (82ft) from the glider

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