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Plane crashes in garden on welsh housing estate

A light aircraft crash-landed in a Welsh housing estate earlier this year after its engine failed, according to an air accident report. On 10th February, the plane came down in the back garden of a house on the Cae Bach Aur estate in Bodffordd, near Llangefni, Anglesey.

The pilot was airlifted to hospital by the Wales Air Ambulance, but fortunately, no one else was injured. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has now released its findings on the incident.

The report states that the Aerosport Scamp, piloted by a 50-year-old man, took off from RAF Mona airfield on Anglesey just after 1:30 pm. Investigators found that the aircraft suffered a partial loss of power at 400ft shortly after take-off from Runway 04.

As the pilot prepared for a forced landing in a field beyond the end of Runway 04, the engine unexpectedly returned to full power without any intervention from him. He then attempted to make a turn to land on Runway 22. However, the engine’s power failed again. Realising he wouldn’t reach the runway, the pilot aimed for a nearby field to land in.

The engine then completely stopped. With a residential area ahead and a high rate of descent, he chose an area of gardens and trees to crash-land in, intentionally stalling the aircraft into the tree line. The aircraft slid sideways from the trees, coming to a stop on its right side. The pilot sustained a fractured wrist and minor injuries. Despite wearing a helmet which provided some protection, he also sustained a minor head injury.

The pilot suggested that the engine power loss might have been due to carburettor icing. Although an accomplished aviator, he was not familiar with this specific aircraft, the report noted.

The document read: “He stated that as a commercial pilot, he had received upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) which was reinforced during regular proficiency checks. He considered that this assisted his quick reaction in lowering the nose when the aircraft stalled, which probably prevented a more serious accident, as having regained control he had some additional time to decide where to set the aircraft down.”

Investigators added: “The pilot’s prompt recognition and response to the aircraft’s stall allowed for a greater degree of control over the aircraft’s flight path and time to decide where to land, which probably contributed to a less severe outcome than might have otherwise occurred.”

The report concluded: “The cause of the engine failure was not determined. Contributory factors to the resulting accident were a challenging decision-making process due to the partial power loss and proximity to the ground, and the pilot’s inexperience with the relatively high-drag, low-inertia aircraft type.”