Aircraft crashed whilst avoiding a hedge when taking off, Strubby Airfield, Lincolnshire, 30 May 2016.
The pilot was attempting to take off from a mown strip of grass perpendicular to, and north of the asphalt runway at Strubby Airfield. When he realised he would not clear the hedge at the end, he turned to avoid it and the aircraft impacted the ground. The pilot referred to the strip as Runway 36, but the airfield owner advised that it was not a designated runway.
Using commercially available aerial imagery, the length of the mowed strip was estimated to be 140 m. The takeoff weight was reportedly 446 kg and manufacturer’s performance data states that at a Maximum Take Off Weight of 450 kg, the takeoff distance to clear a 15 m obstacle is 205 m.
The pilot stated that he had taken off from the mowed strip previously and he believed his ability to climb on the accident flight had been compromised by rotor effect from the hedge, which he estimated to be between three and four metres in height.
CAA Safety Sense Leaflet 7c (‘Aeroplane Performance’) reminds pilots of the actions necessary to ensure adequate takeoff performance for the conditions.
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Published: 8 September 2016
Date of occurrence: 30 May 2016