Lucky escape for elderly pilot

Crash at Fife Airport 22/04/15
Crash at Fife Airport 22/04/15

A pilot had a lucky escape after crash landing his plane at Fife Airport earlier this year.

The 76-year-old managed to walk away from the wreckage of his Pulsar XP single-engine plane in April after experiencing an engine fault.

A report into the incident by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed that the pilot had tried to land the plane on two occasions but experienced difficulty in slowing down. On the third attempt, the private plane inadvertently sped up before crashing on the grass to the left of the runway.

The incident caused extensive damage to the fuselage around the cockpit and the propeller blades were broken off, however, the pilot suffered only minor injuries and managed to free himself from the harness.

The report published last week revealed an inspection of the engine and throttle found a problem with the plane that stopped the throttle from closing fully.

It was also noted that the pilot acknowledged he had not considered turning the engine off for the landing.

The report stated: “The takeoff and climb were normal, but on downwind the pilot could not reduce the rpm below 3500rpm and consequently had difficulty slowing the aircraft. On the approach, the pilot attempted to slow down by raising the nose above the horizon.

“The speed, however, remained too fast for a landing so the pilot decided to go around. The second approach was equally fast during the approach and the pilot applied the same nose-high technique to reduce speed.

“For the third approach, still fast and nose-high the pilot aimed to touch down on the numbers in order to have all the runway to bring the aircraft to a stop.

“As the pilot tried to flare and reduce power, the engine instead went to full power, causing the aircraft to yaw violently to the left.”