Deanland Airfield has a single grass runway orientated 06/24 with a LDA of 457 m; the runway condition was dry at the time of the accident. The pilot decided to land on Runway 24 having observed the airfield’s windsocks and, a few minutes earlier, hearing a radio transmission from a departing aircraft. This decision was also influenced by the runway profile, which slopes upwards towards its end. The pilot reported that the touchdown occurred at a higher speed and further down the runway than expected but, with about 80 m of stopping distance still remaining, he considered that the aircraft had slowed sufficiently under braking to safely exit the runway. Whilst applying back pressure on the control stick, the pilot turned the aircraft to the right using the steerable nosewheel with the intent of then making a 180° left turn. However directional control was lost at this point and the right wingtip struck a fence post bordering the runway, causing the aircraft to yaw into a wire fence where it came to a stop. The aircraft sustained substantial damage but both occupants were uninjured.
A post-accident review of the airfield’s recorded weather station data indicated that, at the time of the landing, the wind was from 112° at 4 kt; this equates to a tailwind of about 3 kt.
The pilot assessed the cause of the accident to be the choice of Runway 24, with a faster and deeper landing than expected followed by degraded effectiveness of the steerable nosewheel with back pressure on the control stick.
Aerotechnik EV-97 Eurostar SL, G-CGTT 07-16
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