Pilot blames himself for crash landing microlight in Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 09:16 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:16 20 August 2014

A pilot has blamed himself for a crash landing at a farm strip in Swaffham, which he walked away from unscathed but which left the 2014-built microlight he was flying seriously damaged.

The incident happened as the Thruster microlight was landing at Great Thorns Farm on the afternoon of March 29.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch report into the crash says the 61-year-old pilot, who had 1,470 hours flying experience, was landing in a cross-wind.

The report states the pilot was returning to the same runway he had taken off from and says that just as the tiny aircraft touched down, a gust of wind lifted the right wing.

It continues: “The pilot was not able to correct using the ailerons and applied power to go around. The aircraft then veered to the left and the left main-wheel struck the raised, ploughed edge of the runway.

“As it left the runway and entered a rough grass field, the aircraft tipped on to its nose and left wingtip, rotating through about 180º before coming to rest in an upright attitude.”

The report adds: “The pilot stated that his failure to anticipate the gust of wind coupled with his decision to go around – he believes the aircraft would otherwise have probably stopped on the runway – were the major factors in the accident.”

The identity of the pilot is unconfirmed.

The microlight was registered in the name of Alistair Milne, of Swanton Morley, trustee of Great Thorns Flying Group.

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