If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Aeroplane crash caused by engine failure
A LIGHT aircraft that crash landed into a pig shelter and overturned shortly after taking off from Old Sarum Airfield had engine failure, a report has ruled.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has published a report on the accident on May 23, from which the pilot and passenger were lucky to escape with only minor injuries.
The AAIB report says there are three possible causes for the engine problems – faults with the ignition or the fuel system or ice in the carburettor – but investigators could not indicate the cause with more certainty.
The 1995 Jodel aircraft had flown in the morning with no reported incident. The 53-year-old pilot, who had 243 hours of flying experience, had prepared the aircraft for the flight in the afternoon and after some initial difficulty the engine started and ran normally.
The report said: “Immediately after liftoff on the takeoff roll, the aircraft sank back onto the runway, landing firmly on its main wheels. When the aircraft had accelerated further, the aircraft lifted off once more and the pilot attempted to establish a normal 60 kt climb. “Soon afterwards, the engine started to sound rough. The pilot noticed that engine rpm was falling, and selected the electric fuel pump on, but the engine did not recover.”
The pilot radioed to say he was going to perform a forced landing in a field ahead but it soon became clear the aircraft was too low to reach the chosen field and was descending quickly towards a pig farm.
The left wing collided with a pig shelter and the landing gear seemed to strike an obstacle causing the aircraft to pitch nose-down, turning over and coming to rest upside down, causing severe damage to the aircraft.