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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 184495
Last updated: 10 February 2021
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Date:11-MAY-1990
Time:11:58
Type:Silhouette image of generic DR40 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pierre Robin DR.400/180
Owner/operator:Shepair Ltd
Registration: G-BPOC
C/n / msn: 761
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Rochester Airfield, Kent (EGTO)
Destination airport:Old Warden, Bedfordshire (EGTH)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Ex-F-BTZJ (French registry) from February 1973. French registration cancelled 02-02-1989: re-registered in the UK as G-BPOC on 22-02-1989. Written off (damaged beyond repair) 11-05-1990 when forced landed just beyond the extended runway centre line at Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, due to engine failure

On the morning of 11 May 1990 Robin DR.400 G-BPOC took off from Rochester Airport with the intention of flying to Old Warden. At about 100 feet the engine started misfiring and losing power. The pilot sought to maintain height to enable him to make a forced landing in a field to starboard. However whilst he was concentrating on managing the engine, his starboard wing dropped and the Robin descended rapidly. He managed to raise the wing but impact with the ground was now inevitable. The Robin came to earth just beyond the runway threshold and inverted. The pilot and two rear seat passengers were able to exit the Robin but the front seat passenger was trapped in it until rescuers arrived on the scene and lifted the aircraft. Fortunately, despite a fractured fuel pipe, there was no fire. The pilot suffered severe injuries but those of his passengers were insubstantial.

As to the cause of the crash, according to the AAIB report the pilot appears to have attributed this to engine malfunction. However that also indicates that he conceded that he may have over rotated (i.e. pulled the control column back too far and thus climbed too steeply) on and thus eased the stick forward after take-off. The report also mentions that a witness said that the Robin climbed very steeply after a short take-off roll. The book "British Civil Aircraft Register 1919-1999" goes further and describes the incident as a 'fatal crash after stalling on take-off'. Unless one or more of those on board the Robin died at some time after the crash (I have not come across an addendum to the AAIB report, which one might expect if there was a subsequent accident related death), I have found nothing to support the description 'fatal crash'.

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "aircraft damaged beyond economic repair". As a result, the registration G-BPOC was cancelled by the CAA on 23-07-1990 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422fa62e5274a1314000767/Pierre_Robin_DR400-180__G-BPOC_09-90.pdf
2. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17741.0
3. http://www.flydw.org.uk/DWR400B.htm
4. http://web.archive.org/web/20120928112413/http://www.immat.aviation-civile.gouv.fr:80/immat/servlet/
5. https://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/G-BPOC.html

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Feb-2016 00:54 Dr.John Smith Added
07-Nov-2020 02:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description