'Sudden' aircraft crash left two injured, needing rescue from wreckage, accident report says
PUBLISHED: 10:15 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 10 January 2020
Two people were injured and had to be rescued from wreckage after their aircraft crashed into the ground as it attempted a landing, a report has said.
Strong turbulence caused a microlight aircraft to encounter problems while attempting to land at a runway in Beccles, Suffolk.
The accident occurred when the aircraft - a small 2010 silver Quik model designed to carry no more than two people - made a second landing attempt at the Beccles Aerodrome.
A report into the crash, which happened on Saturday, October 19 last year, found that the aircraft was roughly 10 feet above the ground when it "suddenly pitched down and rolled right".
The report, published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), said: "The pilot was unable to prevent the aircraft touching down firmly, following which the trike tipped onto its right side and slid for about 20ft along the runway before coming to a stop.
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"Both occupants had to be helped from the aircraft by airfield staff."
The instructor and trainee walked away with minor injuries, but the aircraft was battered by the collision, suffering severe damage to its airframe and wing.
"Following an uneventful training sortie, the aircraft was positioned onto the approach for Runway 27, but a go-around was flown due to turbulence on short final," the AAIB said.
"The second approach was described by the pilot as being stable but, when the aircraft was between six and 10ft above the runway, it experienced 'strong sink' that caused the aircraft to rapidly pitch down and roll to the right. The pilot described this as happening very quickly and he was unable to prevent the aircraft from landing firmly"
The flight instructor, who held 2,065 hours of flying experience, told investigators he might have been able to prevent the accident if he released engine power more quickly.
However the report said: "The position of the hand throttle and need to reposition his hand from the control bar meant that this was unlikely to have been possible in the time available. The pilot suggested that a modification [...] would be advantageous when instructing."