The aircraft was engaged on an air test to check its handling at the Never Exceed airspeed (VNE). Some 13 kt below this speed, there was a bang and the aircraft started to oscillate violently in pitch. The pilot noticed that the canopy had fractured and a fire extinguisher had become loose in the cockpit. With the speed reduced considerably, the pilot regained control and he continued to his destination.
After an uneventful landing, it was found that the tailplane had buckled on both sides and appeared close to complete failure. The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) is conducting a structural review of the tailplane.
CZAW Sportcruiser G-MELL 12-14
Published 16 December 2014