Pilot crash-landed at Dunkeswell Airfield after 'handling error'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 16 October 2017

Dunkeswell Airfield, where a 71-year-old pilot crash-landed a Tiger Moth plane in May 2017. Image: Google Maps

Dunkeswell Airfield, where a 71-year-old pilot crash-landed a Tiger Moth plane in May 2017. Image: Google Maps

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The 71-year-old crash-landed a 1944 DH82A Tiger Moth at Dunkeswell Airfield on May 27, 2017.

A pilot with more than 18,000 hours of flying experience crashed his plane in Dunkeswell by looking the wrong way when landing, a report has found.

The 71-year-old crash-landed a 1944 DH82A Tiger Moth at Dunkeswell Airfield on May 27, 2017.

A report conducted by Air Accidents Investigation Branch said a temporary grass runway had been designated to the left side of, and parallel with, a tarmac runway at the airfield, which the pilot believed to be the ‘only useable part’ of the runway.

The pilot, who had clocked 111 hours of flying in the three months prior to the crash, reported a 7 knot crosswind from the left that caused the aircraft to ‘drift further right’ towards the tarmac runway.

The report said: “Its right main landing gear then struck a runway side light and control box, and collapsed.”

During the collision, the plan’s right wing and aileron tips ‘scraped along the tarmac’, before the aircraft came to a rest half on the grass and half on the tarmac.

The report concluded that the accident had been caused by a handling error, as the pilot said he had been ‘looking out the other left, and not the right’ when the aircraft touched down.

The pilot had one passenger in the aircraft at the time of the incident, and neither was injured.

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