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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181182
Last updated: 5 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PTS2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pitts S-2A
Owner/operator:Airmiles Ltd
Registration: G-BECM
C/n / msn: 2121
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Preesall Sands, near Fleetwood, Lancashire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Blackpool, Lancashire (BLK/EGLK)
Destination airport:Blackpool, Lancashire (BLK/EGNH)
Investigating agency: AIB
Two Pitts S-2A aircraft (G-BADY and G-BECM) were destroyed in a mid air collision over Preesall Sands, near Fleetwood, Lancashire, whilst rehearsing for an air display at Blackpool. Both aircraft were destroyed, and the pilots of both aircraft were killed. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"A flight of three Pitts S-2A aircraft, consisting of two regular members and one occasional member, were engaged in practice for a formation aerobatic display at Blackpool. During the previous two days, the team had worked up their display by two days of practising individual manoeuvres with two aircraft only, followed by one day of practising the complete display routine with the full formation of three aircraft.

On the day of the accident, after a press presentation, the formation took off for a final rehearsal. The formation flew to the established practice area over Preesall Sands, and began the display routine. The routine was executed without incident up to the point where an opposition manoeuvre was attempted, in which G-BADY intended to pass between the other two aircraft, which were flying toward G-BADY in line abreast formation, with G-BECM on the left. As G-BADY passed through the gap between the other two Pitts S-2As, it was supposed to roll through 80 degrees to the left.

However, on this occasion, during the passing manoeuvre, G-BADY collided with G-BECM, and both aircraft sustained sufficient damage that it caused both aircraft to crash, with G-BECM catching fire as it struck the ground.

Examination of the wreckage of both aircraft revealed that G-BADY had struck the left main plane of G-BECM in the region of the inter plane strut when rolled at about 70 degrees to the left. As a result, both the left main plane of G-BECM was fragmented, and the upper main plane of G-BADY was structurally destroyed."

Damage to airframe: As confirmed in the AAIB report, the aircraft was "destroyed", and "caught fire on impact with the ground". As a result, the registration G-BECM was cancelled by the CAA on 3/2/1987 (almost three years later)


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

09-Nov-2015 20:19 Dr.John Smith Added

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