'Sudden gust' flipped plane on Sywell Aerodrome landing

Published
image copyrightAir Accidents Investigation Branch Report
image captionThe two people in the aircraft suffered minor injuries in the crash

A light aircraft landed upside down after it was flipped by a "sudden and unpredictable" gust of wind, a report has said.

The Tiger Moth biplane was landing at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire on 30 June when the wind caused a roll "the pilot could not correct".

It came to rest facing the opposite way to which it was landing, said the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)

Two people in the aircraft suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The aircraft, built in 1943, was flown from its home base at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, earlier that day and had then completed one vintage flying experience flight at Sywell, near Wellingborough.

On its third trip of the day, a training flight, the Tiger Moth was coming in to land when the pilot, carrying one passenger, "reported that during the flare [a manoeuvre] a sudden gust caused the aircraft to roll to left".

The AAIB report said he attempted to correct the roll but the left wing hit the ground and the aircraft rotated to the left and overturned.

Both occupants were restrained by their harnesses and were released from the aircraft by the fire service and the aerodrome's rescue team.

There was also damage to the aeroplane's wings, propeller, forward fuselage and rudder.

The chief pilot told the AAIB that the wind had been within the operator's recommended limits for the runway the aircraft had used at Sywell.

But they added that a different runway "may have been preferable because of the tendency for gusts to veer and strengthen, especially in the evening".

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