AAIB investigation to Pegasus XL-Q, G-MGCB

Heavy landing led to loss of directional control before aircraft overturned, Headon Airfield, Nottinghamshire, 25 March 2017.


A student pilot with 59 hours total flying time (all on type), was flying with an instructor, but without dual controls fitted to the aircraft. The student had not flown for four months but they had flown together before, and the instructor anticipated they would fly one circuit using the grass Runway 05 at Headon before he authorised the student to continue flying solo.

Weather conditions were good, with an estimated wind from 030º at 6 kt. Just prior to landing the student tried to make a correction to the approach path and in doing so the airspeed decayed. As a result the aircraft landed heavily, the nosewheel collapsed and steering control was lost, so the pilots were unable to prevent the aircraft from leaving the runway at low speed and overturning. They then experienced some difficulty vacating the aircraft because of airframe distortion.

The instructor stated afterwards that dual control bars should have been fitted because, when he saw the student encounter difficulty on the final approach, he attempted to intervene by manipulating the rigging wires but this was not successful. The student suggested he should have gone around rather than trying to make a late correction to the line of approach.

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Pegasus XL-Q, G-MGCB 09-17

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 14 September 2017