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