Airplane 'narrowly misses person' after losing control on St Albans farm – Herts Live


As the aircraft took off it began to climb slowly, narrowly missing a person, power cables and a farm building
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The Government's Air Accidents Investigation Branch has looked into an airplane crash that occurred early last year and released a report. On January 30, 2022, an airplane lost control after take off and experienced engine failure at a farm in St Albans.
According to the report, as the aircraft took off from Plaistows Farm, it began to climb slowly, narrowly missing a person, power cables and a farm building. The aircraft then struck the ground after the engine failed at around 100ft.
The pilot suffered back injuries and reported that he had been unable to control the aircraft due to a control restriction. The summary also claims that the condition of the aircraft itself was poor.
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The report reads: "As the aircraft took off it suddenly veered to the right and climbed very slowly, narrowly missing a person, a hangar, power cables and a farm building. At approximately 100 ft agl the engine stopped, and the aircraft struck the ground. The pilot suffered back injuries and reported that he had been unable to control the aircraft due to a control restriction."
"No evidence of a control restriction was found, and it is considered that flight just above the stall speed, resulting in a poor response from the flying control surfaces, was the probable cause of the control issues experienced by the pilot. The engine stopped due to overheating of the rear cylinder, but no cause could be found for this."
"The general condition of the aircraft was poor, and no evidence could be provided by the pilot to confirm regular maintenance. Owners of Single Seat Deregulated (SSDR) aircraft are reminded of their legal responsibility to comply with the Air Navigation Order (ANO). The British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) and Light Aircraft Association (LAA) have published guidance to assist with this."
The report concluded that: "It was considered the most likely cause of the loss of control after takeoff was low airspeed resulting in poor flying control response and an inability to counteract the effect of the crosswind.
"The engine stoppage was probably caused by the aft cylinder overheating although no cause could be found for the overheating. The general condition of the aircraft was poor, and no evidence could be provided of regular maintenance and recordkeeping.
"Owners of SSDR aircraft are reminded that although there is no requirement for regular airworthiness inspections, they are still legally responsible for ensuring their aircraft are airworthy and must comply with the ANO. The BMAA and LAA have published guidance to help owners".
The full report of the incident is available to view and download on the government website here.
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