North Wales plane crash pilot criticised in accident reportPosted: October 11, 2012
By Eryl Crump
A PILOT’S choice of a landing site was “not a good one” after he crashed his vintage plane at a spot where a woman had been standing moments earlier.
The Tiger Moth biplane clipped a tree and flipped over before hitting the ground at Eryrys, near Mold in August this year.
Pam Sheldon was taking pictures of the aircraft coming into land when the incident happened.
No one was hurt but the 73-year-old aircraft was badly damaged.
An official report by the Department for Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Branch reveals trhe 47-year-old pilot, who has not been named, was attempting to land at the site for the tirst time.
The report notes the pilot had identified the field as a possible landing site three years earlier.
“He obtained permission from the landowner to use the field. The pilot walked it twice on the morning of the accident and was aware it was a difficult landing site aproximately 200 yards long.
“The field sloped steeply upwards for its first half and less steeply for the second half.”
He had noted the northern end of the field was crossed by a small earth bank, a low fence, two trees and power and telephone lines.
“It was evident to him any go-around decision would need to be made in good time and would require careful flying to avoid the wires and trees.
“However as the pilot had recently completed a lengthy series of flights and had a good deal of recent flying practice he was confident a safe landing could be made,” the report adds.
On arrival at the field the pilot first made a flypast and made an initial approach. This was abandoned because the aircraft was too fast.
The report went on: “On the second attempt, as the aircraft crossed the hedge, the pilot became aware the aircraft was still too fast to land safely yet also now too low to climb above the obstacles at the far end.
“The main wheels touched down at the top of the steeply sloping section of the field. The pilot opened the throttle to maintain flying speed and fly between the trees.
“Concentrating on flying through the gap between the fence and the wires the aircraft’s right wing tip struck the branches of a tree.
“The pilot ducked and protected his head. He was aware only of a rolling sensation until the aircraft came to a stop.
“The pilot observed the choice of landing site was not a good one and he had not adhered to his own pre-flight plan to go-around if the approach was not entirely satisfactory.”
Pam told the Daily Post the aircraft hit the spot where her 60-year-old mum, Marylyn had been standing
“I was taking pictures of the plane coming in to land when it happened. He overshot our neighbour’s land and came down in our field.
“My mother was in the field when it happened and just minutes before she had been standing at the exact spot where he crash landed,” she added.
The pilot, who lives in Oxfordshire, was believed to be in North Wales on holiday.
Sourced by Daily Post