Sibson crash pilot Clive Greenaway 'unaware of pylons'

  • 13 September 2012
  • From the section England
The crashed plane
Image caption The plane crashed close to the A1 in September 2011

A pilot killed when his light aircraft hit power lines in Cambridgeshire may have been unaware the lines were there, an air accident report has said.

Clive Greenaway, 52, from Stratford-upon-Avon, died when his plane came down in fields near Sibson Airfield.

Mr Greenaway may have been distracted by a plane departing from the airfield, said the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

He had flown to Sibson from Long Marston Airfield in Warwickshire.

The runway in use had what is known as a displaced threshold - an area beyond the normal end of the runway - to provide an approaching aircraft with adequate clearance from the transmission lines, the report found.

'Pilot's unfamiliarity'

The AAIB said: "Evidence suggested that the pilot made an approach to the start of the prepared runway surface, rather than the displaced threshold.

"The pilot's unfamiliarity with the airfield, distraction due to a departing aircraft in front and inadequacies in the briefing material may have been contributory factors to the accident."

The aircraft - a Bolkow 208C Junior - came down close to the A1 - a section of which had to be closed for several hours following the crash on the afternoon of 2 September 2011.

It was Mr Greenaway's first flight to Sibson, near Peterborough.

The report said the lack of evidence of any technical failure suggested Mr Greenaway would have been able to avoid flying on to the power transmission line.

"It is possible that he was unaware of its [the power line] presence when he commenced his approach," said the report.

"Even if the pilot had been aware of the presence of the power transmission line, the cables would have been difficult to see."

The AAIB said the owners of the power line had entered discussions with the airfield operator and the Civil Aviation Authority to prevent a recurrence of the accident.

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