No Plan B

Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS -

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.’

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