No Plan B
Aircraft Type: Ikarus C42 FB80 Date & Time: 5 April 2019 at 1150
Commander’s Flying Experience: NPPL, 83 hours, all on type
Last 90 days: 8 hours
Last 28 days: 1 hour
The pilot planned a triangular cross-country flight beginning at Headcorn Airfield and landing sequentially at Lydd and Deanland airfields, before returning to Headcorn. He had obtained ‘PPR’ [prior permission] for Deanland the day before. The flight to Lydd was uneventful and after a short break, he commenced the next leg of his flight. The pilot was aware from the windsock as he departed Lydd that the wind had freshened.
The pilot had flown to Deanland once before and had planned to land on Runway 24 but on arrival found that Runway 06 was in use and the wind was variable. On turning onto final he became aware that there was a strong crosswind, with turbulence, and he was only able to maintain the inbound track by crabbing approximately forty degrees to the centre line. The pilot switched to a wing-down approach, but this did not reduce the crab angle and he perceived that the aircraft was now slipping and had lost height. He therefore reverted to the crab approach. During the flare the pilot closed the throttle and aligned the aircraft with the runway which resulted in the aircraft drifting to the left. He attempted to counter the drift by applying opposite rudder, but the aircraft bounced on touchdown, veered off the runway and struck a runway marker before passing through a hedge. While the aircraft was damaged, the pilot was uninjured.
The pilot considered that in planning his cross-country flight he had paid too much attention to communications and circuit preparations at the expense of giving due consideration to the possibility of varying weather conditions. He further considered that once under way, he missed several opportunities to revise his flight plan.
‘This accident highlights the importance of initiating a go-around if the aircraft is not stable on the approach,’ comments the AAIB. ‘Moreover, when planning a multi-leg flight it is important to consider possible adverse changes in the weather and the effect it might have on all the legs.’