The student pilot was undertaking a solo flight from Otherton Airfield as part of his training. After about ten minutes of warming the engine and taxiing, he took off from Runway 25 and later reported that the engine was performing normally throughout the takeoff roll and initial climb. However, at a height of about 100-150 ft agl, he sensed that the engine was losing power so he checked that the fuel tap was on and pumped the throttle. The engine continued to slow down and cut intermittently and he therefore decided that he would shut it down and commit to a forced landing straight ahead into a field of potatoes.
During the landing, the nose landing gear collapsed due to the soft nature of the ground and the aircraft rolled onto its left side as it came to a halt. The pilot later reported that, as part of the subsequent investigation, it was found that the engine ran normally over an extended period of testing after the carburettor had been cleaned and this led to the conclusion that a particle of dirt had blocked the jet or that, possibly, water had been present.
Pegasus XL-R, G-MVDV 12-15
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Published 10 December 2015