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Pilot 'slow to react to crosswind'

PUBLISHED: 09:03 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 14 July 2010

A pilot who crashed while attempting to land his plane at Old Buckenham Airfield had been slow to react to the effects of a crosswind, an air accident investigation report has revealed.

A pilot who crashed while attempting to land his plane at Old Buckenham Airfield had been slow to react to the effects of a crosswind, an air accident investigation report has revealed.

The incident happened at 1.30pm on October 27 last year. The Bellanca Citabria aircraft was destroyed after the left wing hit the ground, causing it to cartwheel. The plane came to rest upright about 30m from the club hangar and a parked fuel tanker.

The 46-year-old pilot and his passenger were able to get out unaided, having suffered minor injuries. There was no indication of any pre-existing mechanical fault that would have contributed to the accident, according to the report published by the AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch).

The aircraft had encountered turbulence on its first approach to an asphalt runway and bounced on touchdown. The pilot executed a 'go-around' and the second approach resulted in touchdown of all three wheels. However, the plane then “yawed left”, travelling across the grass beside the runway towards the clubhouse and adjacent parked aircraft.

The pilot attempted to go round again, applying full power and forward elevator control to raise the tail but the aircraft would not accelerate in the soft ground. He then applied nose up elevator control, trying to get airborne, but this resulted in a “nose high” attitude and the left wing dropped until it impacted.

In his report to the AAIB, the pilot - who had 137hrs flying experience at the time - said he considered he had been slow to react to the effects of the crosswind on touchdown, and that he should have applied into wind aileron and opposite rudder.

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