The pilot took off to the north from Benston Farm airstrip for a planned 20-minute local flight with a friend as passenger. The air during the flight was “very bumpy” so the pilot decided to head back to the farm after 15 minutes. The approach was uneventful until, at about 50 ft, as the aircraft crossed a line of trees, the pilot experienced a high sink rate and the aircraft became “difficult to control”. The subsequent landing was hard as the aircraft got “dumped” onto the runway before bouncing, then falling back onto the runway, nosewheel first. The pilot and passenger, both wearing lap and shoulder harnesses, were uninjured.
On reflection, the pilot realised he should have gone round; however, he thought that his lack of currency and the high sink rate (the highest he’d ever encountered) were the reasons he was unable to control the aircraft, given that other “more experienced” pilots were able to land.
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Published 10 November 2016