The aircraft was being used for an instructional flight in the local area. After completing the pre-takeoff checks the student completed a normal takeoff from Runway 03, climbed the aircraft to the circuit height of 700ft and turned onto the crosswind leg of the circuit. As the aircraft was about to leave the circuit the instructor observed that the engine oil pressure had dropped; there were no other abnormal engine indications. The student was instructed to turn the aircraft back towards the airfield and make a PAN call, after which the instructor took control of the aircraft. Shortly after turning towards the airfield, with the aircraft over Strangford Lough, the engine failed. The position and height of the aircraft meant that it was not possible to reach the airfield but the instructor was able to maintain control of the aircraft until it reached an area of scrub and soft ground close to the airfield, where a successful forced landing was completed. During the landing, the landing gear dug into the soft ground, which resulted in the collapse of the nose and left landing gear legs. The failure of the engine was attributed to the rapid loss of engine oil due to a severe leak.
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Published 14 September 2017