The pilot had been practising circuits on Runway 25 at Saltby Airfield. Having successfully completed two, on his third circuit he found that the crosswind and level of turbulence had increased such that the approach had become “a bit challenging”. The aircraft ballooned at a height of 20 ft, so he executed a go-around. The actual wind was from 210-220º at 15-20 kt.
On the next approach the turbulence had worsened. The pilot was having to fly with his left hand on the control column and his right on the spoiler/brake lever, whereas most of his previous experience on other aircraft had used the opposite method. At about 40 ft, the aircraft was buffeted strongly but the pilot’s reactions were on the wrong controls – treating the spoiler lever as the control column and vice-versa. The aircraft descended rapidly and either ballooned or bounced back into the air. He admits he was confused and lacked the presence of mind at that stage to open the throttle and abandon the landing. He continued and hit the ground hard in a level attitude, causing damage to the propeller and engine but coming to a halt after a normal ground roll.