Crosswind blew landing aircraft into ploughed field

PUBLISHED: 11:20 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

A LIGHT aircraft drifted off course as it landed and ended up in a ploughed field because of pilot inexperience in a gentle crosswind. The plane, a Pegasus Quantum, was landing at Plaistow s Farm in Chiswell Green on the afternoon of October 14 last year

A LIGHT aircraft drifted off course as it landed and ended up in a ploughed field because of pilot inexperience in a gentle crosswind.

The plane, a Pegasus Quantum, was landing at Plaistow's Farm in Chiswell Green on the afternoon of October 14 last year when it drifted right shortly before touchdown.

The pilot, who was on his own in the plane, was unable to climb away before it landed and headed towards the left-hand edge of the runway before ending up in an adjacent ploughed field.

The 53-year-old pilot, who was flying solo, was uninjured, and the plane was upright when it came to rest but there was some damage to the pod, nosewheel, sail and wingspar.

A report from their Air Accident Investigation Branch concluded that although the maximum crosswind component for operating the aircraft was 10mph, pilots who had only spent between 10 and 100 hours in command of a Pegasus Quantum should reduce that speed to five mph.

It goes on: "Uncorrected, the gentle crosswind from the left would have caused the aircraft to drift to the right of the runway centreline and, on touchdown, induce a slight left turn."

The pilot has since sought assistance with his technique from a flying instructor familiar with the aircraft.

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