AAIB investigation to Steen Skybolt, G-SKIE

Collided with trees after takeoff, Kenyon Hall Farm strip, Croft, near Warrington, Cheshire, 24 June 2018.


The pilot stated that he was taking off from Kenyon Hall Farm strip which is orientated north-east/south-west. The wind was from 340° at 2 kt, so he chose to take off in a north-easterly direction, which has some trees down its left edge.

He took off from a three-point attitude, which he considered normal for this aircraft, and soon after becoming airborne he saw the top of a tree ahead. Being too late to avoid it, the aircraft “sliced the top of the tree off and crashed into another tree”, before coming to rest on its left side in some lower branches (Figure 1). The pilot was uninjured but was trapped inside as he was unable to open the canopy. The local RFFS arrived about 50 mins later and released the pilot.

The pilot commented that he had commenced the takeoff roll about 15° left of the strip’s track and flown towards the first tree. He believes this was caused by a failure to apply sufficient right rudder to counter the engine torque and not maintaining sight of the right edge of the runway, which borders a field of crops, in his peripheral vision.

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Steen Skybolt, G-SKIE 12-18

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 6 December 2018