AAIB investigation to Zenair CH 601X1 Zodiac, G-RWMW

Aircraft stalled on approach, private airstrip near Ayr, Ayrshire, 14 May 2014.


The pilot was returning to the airstrip after a flight to Bute, about 28 nm away. A weather report, obtained from Prestwick ATC, gave a surface wind of 11 kt from 240° with scattered cloud and good visibility. The temperature was 13°C.

The airstrip was orientated 06/24 and located in a farm field, such that the longest landing distance available was about 300 m. It was situated amongst gently undulating terrain. The aircraft was approaching to land in a south-westerly direction when the accident occurred. When the aircraft was on short finals at an estimated height of 70 ft, it experienced a sudden onset of turbulence, of a severity the pilot had not previously encountered. The aircraft lost airspeed and, from the pilot’s report, appeared to have stalled, pitching to about 40° down and striking the ground approximately 100 m from the beginning of the airstrip.

The pilot and his passenger, who were both wearing full harnesses, sustained minor injuries. The pilot reported that the cockpit had maintained its internal volume, and that the impact forces had been absorbed by crumpling of the fuselage structure from the firewall aft.

Download report:

Zenair CH 601X1 Zodiac G-RWMW 08-14.pdf (134.26 kb)

Updates to this page

Published 10 December 2014