Maule MX-7-180, G-BSKG
After an uneventful local flight the pilot rejoined the circuit at Top Farm, where he and the aircraft are based, approximately 15 minutes before sunset. The windsock indicated a gentle south-westerly wind and, having overheard the Cranfield Airfield (20 miles to the west) surface wind being given as 240?/5 kt, he decided to make an approach to the grass Runway 24. A curved final approach from the south was made to avoid a noise sensitive area on the runway centreline. Having established the aircraft on the runway centreline, the pilot was looking directly into the setting sun which significantly reduced his forward vision. He concentrated on what he believed to be the runway threshold and attempted to establish the aircraft on the correct approach path at the correct speed. The landing appeared normal although the runway surface seemed different from usual. As the aircraft slowed a parked light aircraft appeared out of the glare from the sun and the pilot was unable to prevent his left wing from colliding with the rear of the parked aircraft’s right wing. His aircraft came to a stop and he was able to vacate through the normal exit without injury. Both aircraft had severe damage to their wings and were considered damaged beyond economic repair. The pilot had landed the aircraft to the left of Runway 24 in an area containing young plants, resembling grass. During the landing roll he had crossed the unmarked airfield boundary into the airfield’s parking area and run into the parked aircraft. The pilot stated that the reduced forward visibility arising from the setting sun led to his misplaced landing and lack of awareness of the parked aircraft. With the relatively light wind, he now considers that an approach to the reciprocal runway would have been a more sensible option. He also believes that he over concentrated on controlling his speed and height and avoiding a noise sensitive area during the final approach and in hindsight should have taken an early decision to go-around.
Maule MX-7-180, G-BSKG 2-06.pdf (161.58 kb)