The pilot was taxiing to the refuelling pumps via Bravo taxiway at Blackpool Airport. As he approached the pumps to his right, he saw that a large fuel bowser was parked near them, marked by two traffic cones; this necessitated him steering the aircraft to the left in order to clear the obstruction. He turned the aircraft away from the yellow centreline markings at very slow speed but, before passing the bowser, he heard three loud bangs and the aircraft shuddered. It continued past the bowser and stopped near the pumps – it was evident that the propeller had struck the ground.
Examination of the taxiway surface showed that the nosewheel had entered a large pothole filled with water, coincident with three propeller slashes in the tarmac. The pilot says that no NOTAMS had been posted regarding the state of the taxiway and he had not been warned by Air Traffic Control about the presence of an obstruction near the pumps. He also took pictures to illustrate that the landing gear oleo extensions and tyre pressures appeared correct.
Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II, G-BRUD 05-16
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