Beds, Herts & Bucks

Spitfire crashed at Denham Airfield when wheel collapsed

Spitfire Mk.T IX (Modified) Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The the right leg of the Mk.T IX, built during World War Two, collapsed on landing at Denham Airfield

A Spitfire crash-landed when one of its undercarriage legs failed, air accident investigators have said.

The the right leg of the Mk.T IX, built during World War Two, collapsed on landing at Denham Airfield in Buckinghamshire on 27 February.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said a green light which showed that the undercarriage was down had been on.

Both the pilot and a passenger were uninjured.

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The undercarriage system is operated by a control lever

The report into the crash of the two-seater modified training aircraft said that just before 13:00 GMT, the 55-year-old pilot had lowered the wheels.

Indicator lights showed they were locked into place but, as the plane touched the ground, the right wheel collapsed.

Warning horn

As the plane came to a stop, the propellers and wing hit the ground, breaking the propellers and causing minor damage to the aircraft.

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption There is a panel-mounted indication system for up (red) and down (green)

Investigators said that although a warning horn had sounded, indicating the wheel was not locked into place, it had gone off incorrectly on two previous occasions, which meant the pilot thought it was safe to land.

The report found that the right down position switch had become stuck in the down position, incorrectly indicating that the undercarriage was safe, so the pilot was unaware that the right undercarriage leg was not locked down.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites