CRI-CRI CRI­SIS

Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS -

The Ppl-rated pi­lot, who had three hours on the Colom­ban MC-15 Cri-cri (photo above), had al­tered the mix­ture set­ting on each en­gine’s car­bu­ret­tor and flew a cir­cuit from Popham’s Rwy 03 dur­ing which both en­gines seemed to run nor­mally. He then turned onto fi­nal ap­proach and low­ered land­ing flap, whilst still re­tain­ing a mod­er­ate power set­ting. At ap­prox­i­mately 60 KIAS and at a height of 400-500ft agl he closed one throt­tle, fol­lowed by the sec­ond. As he closed the sec­ond throt­tle, the first en­gine stopped. He started to ad­vance the throt­tle of the live en­gine but this then also stopped. He set up a glide ap­proach, but dur­ing the flare, at about two feet, the right wing dropped and the air­craft sank onto the grass sur­face, land­ing heav­ily. Dur­ing the touch­down, the pi­lot’s head struck the canopy but he was un­in­jured. He be­lieves that the en­gines stopped due to the ad­just­ment of the mix­ture con­trols on both car­bu­ret­tors, giv­ing ex­ces­sively lean con­di­tions at low rpm whilst in flight.

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