AAIB investigation to P&M Aviation Quick GTR, G-MABL
Loss of control on take off, Farway Common Airfield, Devon, 26 May 2014.
The pilot prepared for a local flight from Farway Common Airfield. The airfield has two grass runways, designated 10/28 and 18/36; both 550 m long. There was a light and variable wind favouring Runway 10 and the grass surfaces were wet. The runway had an uphill slope, gaining approximately 50 ft elevation along its length. G-MABL was the last of a group of four microlights to take off and the only one of the group carrying a passenger.
Takeoff on Runway 10 was normal until the microlight encountered what the pilot described as a significantly waterlogged area, which caused it to lose speed. It then encountered a surface undulation and became airborne at low airspeed. The pilot was unable to correct a roll to the right and the microlight struck the ground, coming to rest on its right side.
The pilot reported that she had not appreciated the full extent of the surface water, having landed the previous day on the other runway, which had better drainage. She considered that the adverse effect of this on takeoff performance, and allowing the microlight to become airborne at too low an airspeed, were causal factors.
Published: 10 December 2014
Date of occurrence: 26 May 2014