'Unsuitable' field may have led to aircraft crash

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A MICROLIGHT crash that injured a pilot and his passenger could have happened because the field from which it took off wasn’t suitable, an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report has said.

The crash happened on November 23 last year when the pilot tried to takeoff from a field in Farley.

The AAIB report says the 33-year-old pilot said there was also a possibility he had tried to become airborne at too low an airspeed.

The report said: “The aircraft seemed to the pilot to be accelerating a little more slowly than usual even though full power was applied. At what he thought was normal lift-off speed, he pushed the bar forward to rotate.

“At this point, the aircraft started to ‘fishtail’ and the pilot is uncertain whether it momentarily became airborne but he was unable to correct with his feet as a swing to the right developed.”

The aircraft tipped over and the pilot was left with a broken arm while his passenger suffered cuts and bruises.

The aircraft, a 2010-built QuikR, was also seriously damaged in the crash.

The pilot, who had 175 hours’ flying experience, had inspected the field and told investigators he had thought it was suitable at the time but in hindsight it may have been too soft.

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