There was a light easterly wind when the pilot departed Runway 10 at Longside Airfield for a local flight. When he returned, 20 minutes later, the wind had unexpectedly veered and strengthened and he estimated it was from 220º at 17 kt. Therefore, he elected to land on an asphalt taxiway which is approximately 15 m wide and which runs from north to south, to the threshold of Runway 28. This taxiway is accepted locally as a useful, al-ternate landing strip for appropriately briefed microlight pilots.
No difficulty was experienced during the approach but, as the mainwheels made ground contact, a sudden gust of wind lifted the right wing and moved the aircraft left. The pilot applied power but the nose landing gear collapsed, the propeller struck the ground and the aircraft veered off the taxiway to the left before it stopped.
Prior to the flight, the pilot had consulted the Met Office’s spot wind chart and BBC weather information. He knows that Longside is susceptible to abrupt wind shift, never-theless with hindsight, he realises he could have better researched the forecast wind conditions for the likely duration of his flight.
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Published 13 September 2018