The pilot was landing away from his home airfield using a field strip he had visited previously. He had flown a standard 500 ft agl circuit and was completing his approach to land when the aircraft speed suddenly decreased and despite adding power the pilot was unable to arrest the rate of decent. The aircraft struck the ground heavily causing damage to the right main landing gear, which collapsed. This caused the right wingtip and the propeller to strike the ground. The aircraft slewed around and came to rest on the right wingtip and left main landing gear.
The day of the accident was warm, and the pilot had noted the presence of significant thermal activity at his home airfield. He considered it likely that the final stages of the approach had been through rising air across a sloping field but as he crossed the boundary hedge he exited the thermal and the aircraft began to sink with the speed decreasing. He was surprised by the sudden loss of lift and was unable to stop the aircraft striking the ground hard.
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Published 8 November 2018