AAIB investigation to Falco F8L, G-REEC
Aircraft struck trees during go-around, near Lewes, East Sussex, 24 August 2014.
The aircraft was on a local flight from a grass airstrip. Runway 28 was being used, with fine weather conditions and a light surface wind varying between calm and 8 kt from 270°. The airstrip was 505 m long, with a ditch and medium sized trees crossing just beyond the upwind end. The pilot, who had flown from the airstrip on numerous occasions, described the grass as damp.
The pilot reported flying a normal approach, crossing the threshold at 68 kt. Following touchdown, he applied moderate brake pressure but the aircraft did not decelerate as expected. He decided to abort the landing; flaps were raised to the takeoff position, the propeller control was checked fully fine and full power was applied to fly a go-around. The aircraft lifted off but was unable to clear the trees at the end of the airstrip, coming to an abrupt stop as it flew into them.
The pilot remarked that the crumpling of the wooden structure and the breaking of the trees served to absorb most of the aircraft’s energy, leaving him uninjured. He was able to make the switches safe and slide open the canopy before vacating in a normal manner.
Published: 10 December 2014
Date of occurrence: 24 August 2014