Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee Warrior III, G-CEMD
The student was flying the final leg of a Caernarfon-Haverfordwest-Aberporth-Caernarfon solo qualifying cross-country flight. As the aircraft passed the town of Barmouth and, with a lowering cloudbase, forward visibility reduced to the extent that she could no longer see her next checkpoint at the town of Criccieth nor the familiar landmark of the Nebo mast. The pilot declared a PAN, set 7700 on the transponder and advised ATC of her intentions to carry out a precautionary landing on runway 35 at the disused aerodrome at Llanbedr. Following an initial bounce, she braked and the aircraft veered to the right, departed the runway surface and entered an area of soft ground. About 10 metres from the runway edge the aircraft tipped onto its nose and came to a stop. The uninjured pilot shut down the aircraft, released her lap and diagonal harness, and exited through the cabin door. The aircraft sustained damage to the propeller, engine, landing gear structure and the leading edge of the left wing.
Date of occurrence: 9 November 2009