AAIB investigation to Pitts S-1S Special, G-BXTI
Loss of control on landing, Southerness, Dumfries, 12 October 2016.
G-BXTI and another aircraft departed from a local private farm strip with the intention of performing some practice precautionary landings on an isolated sandbar on the coast. The pilot had landed there on previous occasions.
The other aircraft landed first and then marked an appropriate area of hard sand, while G-BXTI circled overhead. The pilot of G-BXTI then performed a low-level circuit with go-around, followed by an approach to land. During the flare, the pilot reported that the “holding off felt longer” than he was expecting, which he attributed to a headwind of approximately 10 kt. During this stage, the aircraft drifted to the left by 15-20 m which the pilot did not notice. As the aircraft settled on the sand, the pilot reported a significant deceleration and the aircraft tipped onto its nose before he could react.
Subsequent examination of the tyre tracks revealed that the aircraft had drifted far enough to the left to miss the area of hard sand which had previously been marked. Touchdown was in an area of softer sand into which the tyres sank, leading to the abrupt deceleration.
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Published: 9 March 2017
Date of occurrence: 12 October 2016