Team Minimax, G-BYBW
Washington Airstrip is a private grass strip located adjacent to the South Downs Way, with a ridge to the east and south. The ridge, and the significant slope of the runway, dictate that takeoffs are normally carried out on Runway 24, and landings on the reciprocal Runway 06. On the day of the accident the slightly damp grass was approximately five inches high and there was a slight tailwind for landing on Runway 06. The pilot flew a normal approach at 55 kt and touched down in a three point attitude. At a low speed during the landing roll, he felt a yaw to the left and a deceleration. Despite continuous full aft control column deflection, the aircraft’s tail rose, the aircraft pitched over onto its nose and rolled to the right until the right wing tip contacted the ground. It eventually came to rest however, in an upright attitude. The pilot exited the aircraft without difficulty and later reported that he believed the aircraft pitched onto its nose as a consequence of, interaction with the long grass, the low-slung straight axle and band brakes of the landing gear, and the tailwind.
Published 10 December 2014