Rans S6-ES, G-CBTO
The aircraft was being flown along the coastline of the Lake District, northwards towards St Bees Head at approximately 1,300 feet amsl. In order to avoid the Sellafield restricted zone, the pilot turned inland and commenced a climb to avoid the high ground ahead. There were multiple cloud layers covering the high ground which the pilot realised was rising at a steeper angle than the aircraft was able to climb. He attempted to manoeuvre the aircraft away from the high ground and, whilst concentrating on avoiding the restricted area, inadvertently entered cloud. On exiting the cloud, he found himself close to the ground with no obvious escape route away from further areas of cloud. He decided to land the aircraft in the grass field beneath him and, with his speed already close to the stall, accomplished this successfully. During the short landing roll on the rough terrain, the right wing tip struck the ground and the nosewheel became detached. Both occupants were able to vacate the aircraft through the normal exit doors.
Published 10 December 2014