AAIB investigation to Whittaker MW6-S Fatboy Flyer, G-MYPP

Forced landing in hedgerow following loss of power after takeoff, Lenham Airstrip, near Ashford, Kent, 16 March 2018.


At a height of approximately 80 ft agl and at 48 KIAS, the engine power reduced to idle and could not be increased. The pilot lowered the nose, to achieve approximately 50 KIAS, and aimed towards a field in front of him, that he had previously identified for such circumstances. Before reaching the field, the aircraft penetrated a line of trees and bushes, estimated to be 20 ft tall, and then settled into a lower, boundary hedge, a few metres beyond the first hedge line. The occupants, who were wearing protective helmets and full seat harnesses, escaped unaided.

After the accident, the pilot discovered that a nipple on the throttle cable had detached, causing the engine to throttle back to idle. He noted that the aircraft, which had last flown four weeks previously, is a low inertia microlight and “does not have a great glide ratio”. He estimated that the elapsed time from the loss of power to impact was 10 seconds.

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Whittaker MW6-S Fatboy Flyer, G-MYPP 06-18

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 14 June 2018