March 7 2014 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Friday, December 27, 2013
An unexpected gust of wind has been blamed for an accident which earlier this year left a light aircraft hanging from a tree, while the pilot escaped with minor injuries.
Details published in a new report said the incident, which took place at Felthorpe Airfield, near Taverham, happened during the aircraft’s final stages of landing on August 17.
A gust of wind lifted the aircraft’s right wing causing the left wing to drop and hit a tree, which ultimately led to the plane crashing.
The 74-year-old pilot, who had 611 hours of flying experience, managed to climb out to safety through the broken windscreen, walking away with just minor injuries.
After the crash a spokesman for Felthorpe Flying Group Limited, which operates the airfield based at Taverham Road, said: “He was very lucky. He’s walked away with a scratch and, quite frankly, having seen the pictures myself for the first time, he was very lucky he’s got away with it.”
The Rallye Commodore craft - owned by Michael Powell of Chapel Road, Upton, near Acle - was built in 1967 but was written off in the crash.
The report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch added that the pilot was returning to Felthorpe after an uneventful flight.
It said: “At approximately 500 yards from the threshold the approach was normal.
“A gust of wind lifted the right wing and the left wing contacted the first of a line of trees running from close to the runway threshold in a southerly direction.
“The contact with the tree caused the aircraft to yaw left and, despite the fact that the pilot tried to counter the swing, his low airspeed meant that he could not prevent the aircraft from entering the tree line again.
“Here it came to a halt, hanging nose-down from the fourth tree and supported by its left wingtip on the ground; the engine had also detached. The pilot evacuated through the broken windscreen.”