‘Bump’ in runway caused plane’s wheel to detach, investigation finds

RAF Wyton

RAF Wyton - Credit: Archant

A crash that involved a student pilot was caused when a wheel detached after the plane “hit a bump” on a runway, an investigation has reported.

The incident, which took place at RAF Wyton on July 4, saw the 25-year-old student pilot take off from the runway momentarily and bounce twice before the craft pitched down and the nosewheel detached.

The pilot was flying a 1984 Slingsby T67B Firefly with a piston engine when the accident occurred.

An investigation carried out by the Aircraft Accidents Investigations Branch stated that the wheel on the plane detached when it hit the runway causing damage to the landing gear, propeller and fuselage.

It is understood that nobody was seriously injured in the incident.

A report into the incident stated: “After completing several successful touch-and-go landings with his instructor, the student was flying solo on a circuit consolidation flight. He reported that the aircraft hit a bump on the runway and that the second touchdown resulted in the nosewheel detaching. The propeller struck the ground and the aircraft came to rest on the runway.

“The instructor reported that the approach appeared normal, but the aircraft became airborne momentarily just after touchdown. He stated that the nose pitched down and the nose wheel detached when it hit the runway.

Most Read

“A video of the accident showed that the aircraft bounced twice before pitching nose-down and striking the runway nose-wheel first.

“The student reported that the event “happened extremely quickly” and he was unable to recall his exact actions. He stated the aircraft struck the ground and the nose wheel detached before he could initiate a go-around.”

The damage to the plane included the landing gear, propeller and cowling. The engine was also shock-loaded.

The pilot, who was participating in a training flight, had 13 hours of experience.

The report stated that the plane only had one crew member on board which was the pilot and that no injuries were recorded.