Engine failure and landing gear collapse, RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall, 31 July 2014.
The aircraft was performing in a public air display at Culdrose when the pilot became aware of a significant engine vibration and then a corresponding loss of thrust. Despite the loss of engine power the pilot was able to land the aircraft on the runway but the landing gear collapsed on touchdown, causing it to veer off the runway. The aircraft came to a stop on the grass approximately 1,500 ft from the initial touchdown point. The pilot vacated the aircraft unaided and without injury. The accident was a result of the loss of engine power caused by severe mechanical disruption within the ‘front row’ crankcase of the engine. The breakup may have been caused by the failure of an articulated connecting rod wrist pin bearing, possibly due to overheating, the cause of which is not yet known. Forensic investigation is continuing, to establish the exact cause.
An addendum was published concerning this report in the September 2017 Bulletin.