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Summary

Summary

Initial test flying of the aircraft had been commenced the previous day. The pilot, who was a friend of the owner, had carried out a number of short hops along the 1000 metre strip. The following morning a further six hops were carried out, after which the pilot announced his intention to conduct a right hand circuit and landing. He made one further short flight along the strip, before taking off for the circuit. The aircraft passed over those on the ground at a height of about 300 feet, before passing out of sight while heading south-westerly. Shortly afterwards the engine noise level changed several times before ceasing altogether. A nearby farmer saw the aircraft in a left turn when the engine stopped. The turn tightened and the aircraft disappeared behind a hill. Sounds of impact were then heard. Investigation revealed that the aircraft had struck the ground while in a left spiral and travelling at relatively high speed. The engine was not rotating at the time of impact but no evidence could be found to suggest that it was not capable of operation. The fabric on the the left wing showed signs that it had separated along the entire trailing edge in flight. This would have resulted in a severe reduction of lift compared to that produced by the intact right wing and the subsequent uncontrollable left spiral. The aircraft did not comply with the relevant Air Navigation Orders, having an empty weight of about 210 kg, with a wing loading of about 20 kg/square metre.

 
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