Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS - The Piper Archer’s pi­lot was taxi­ing to Black­pool Air­port’s re­fu­elling pumps. As he ap­proached the pumps to his right he saw that a large fuel bowser was parked near them, marked by two traf­fic cones. He turned the air­craft left away from the yel­low centr

onto the dead side and trans­mit­ted “air­craft just short fi­nal you have just missed us — go­ing around”. He be­lieved that if his stu­dent had been fly­ing solo the two air­craft would likely have col­lided, and filed an Air­prox re­port.

The Kit­fox’s pi­lot was the in­struc­tor for a revision train­ing flight. The sor­tie in­cluded a num­ber of cir­cuits which were flown at the mi­cro­light cir­cuit height of 700ft be­cause the Kit­fox has a sim­i­lar per­for­mance to a mi­cro­light. He re­called that there were two other air­craft in the cir­cuit, the C152 and Thruster. The Kit­fox was climb­ing out af­ter mak­ing an ap­proach when the mi­cro­light landed and its in­struc­tor an­nounced on the A/G fre­quency that he would be send­ing his stu­dent on his first solo. The stu­dent in the Kit­fox re­marked that there were now no other air­craft in the cir­cuit, and re­ported down­wind. The mi­cro­light in­struc­tor di­rectly ad­dressed the Kit­fox crew, again say­ing that he in­tended to send his stu­dent solo once they had landed. They re­sponded, and this re­in­forced the be­lief that there were no other air­craft in the cir­cuit, so the Kit­fox in­struc­tor asked his stu­dent to demon­strate a glide land­ing and was sur­prised when the stu­dent closed the throt­tle on the down­wind leg just abeam the run­way thresh­old and turned a very tight base to fi­nal at 250ft. The in­struc­tor checked the ap­proach path when on base leg, but didn’t see any­thing and let the stu­dent con­tinue with his un­con­ven­tional ap­proach.

With hind­sight, he as­sumed that the C152 must have been in his blind spot above the wing. The in­struc­tor noted a num­ber of fac­tors that he thought contribute­d to the Air­prox: the lack of au­di­ble calls from the C152 led him to be­lieve that there was no-one else in the cir­cuit; be­cause the A/G fre­quency was un­manned there were no re­sponses to ra­dio calls; the pos­si­ble distractio­n from the mi­cro­light in­struc­tor’s mes­sages about a first solo may have prompted a sub­con­scious de­sire to land quickly; and al­low­ing his stu­dent to con­tinue with his tight glide cir­cuit may have placed the C152 in a blind spot caused by the high­wing lay­out of the Kit­fox.

Nor­we­gian Su­per Puma Crash

The CHC He­likopter Ser­vice Air­bus H225 Su­per Puma he­li­copter crash in Nor­way which killed eleven off­shore em­ploy­ees and its two crew on 29 April was sud­den, cat­a­strophic and de­vel­oped in just sec­onds, ac­cord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary re­port by Nor­way’s Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Board. The re­port, which comes fol­low­ing anal­y­sis of the he­li­copter’s Com­bined Cock­pit Voice and Flight Data Recorder

Like other all-wood Robin air­craft, the DR400-180 (see ‘Briefs’ op­po­site) is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered to be well suited to grass run­way op­er­a­tions

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