Pierre Robin DR400/180, G-BSLA
The pilot was intending to carry out some circuits after sunset. After carrying out his power checks he taxied forwards to the runway threshold. The nose of the aircraft pitched down and the propeller struck the ground. The pilot heard the strike and saw stones fly up but the aircraft continued rolling forwards and the propeller continued turning. He taxied the aircraft away from the threshold and shut down the engine. He saw the damage to the propeller blades and decided to taxi back to the apron. The propeller strike was caused by the nose gear dropping down into a depressed area of the concrete surface. The concrete surface appeared to be poorly maintained and the depression was unmarked at the time of the incident. The nose gear oleo was found to be soft which probably allowed the oleo to bottom out, further reducing the already small propeller tip to ground clearance. The airport manager was contacted by the AAIB and he said that they planned on filling in the depressed area of concrete.
Published 10 December 2014