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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 239064
Last updated: 5 March 2021
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Date:04-AUG-2020
Time:11:01 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic COY2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rans S-6-116 Coyote II
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: G-BUWK
C/n / msn: PFA 204A-12448
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Bradley’s Lawn airstrip, Cross in Hand, Heathfield, East Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Bradley's Lawn Airfield, Cross in Hand, East Sussex
Destination airport:Basingstoke-Popham Airport (EGHP)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
AAIB investigation to Rans S6-116 Coyote II, G-BUWK: Aircraft lost control shortly after departure, Bradley’s Lawn Airstrip, Cross in Hand, Heathfield, East Sussex, 4 August 2020. The AAIB Accident Report was published on 4 March 2021, and the following is an excerpt from it:

"The pilot left his home at 0820 hrs on the morning of the flight, arriving at Bradley’s Lawn airstrip, East Sussex at 0850 hrs. The landowner initially saw the pilot on his mobile telephone and again, at some point later, with the engine cowl of G-BUWK open (The landowner presumed this was for pre-flight checks). He chatted with the pilot for about 20 minutes during which the pilot commented that he intended to fly to Popham Airfield, Hampshire, where his partner had probably already landed.

The pilot’s partner had planned to fly her own aircraft to Popham from another departure airfield, meeting up airborne with the pilot prior to arrival. On the day of the accident, the pilot advised his partner by SMS that his departure was delayed, and he would fly direct to Popham and meet her there. The landowner commented that the pilot did not seem to be in a hurry.

The pilot indicated on the airstrip’s ‘Departures Log’ that he would depart at 0950 hrs, listing Popham as his destination. About 10 minutes after the conversation, as the landowner was walking down a track behind the hangars, he heard the aircraft start up and, shortly afterwards, from a gateway abeam the windsock, saw the aircraft already airborne. He stated that the takeoff looked and sounded normal. Having turned away, he heard a loud bang a few moments later and looked up to see a column of black smoke and flames rising upwind of the airstrip.

Witnesses
A witness on the opposite side of the valley to the airstrip, south-east and under ½ nm away, had a clear view of the airstrip and the hangars. He saw the aircraft takeoff and stated that it was airborne by the time it passed the hangars. He considered that the takeoff looked normal and that the aircraft climbed steadily before disappearing behind trees. He then heard the engine stop and, about 15 seconds later, a large bang followed by a plume of smoke and two further bangs.

Another witness, about ¾ nm to the west, saw the aircraft come into view from the direction of the airfield and fly normally before suddenly “spinning” twice and disappearing behind some trees. A plume of smoke rose above the treeline. On seeing the smoke, the witness called the emergency services at 10:01 hrs.

A third witness, at a car workshop about ¾ nm to the west of the airstrip recalled seeing an aircraft with markings and lettering similar to the accident aircraft whose engine sounded as if it was “running extremely rough”. At the time he was at the entrance to the workshop looking to the west and was on a telephone call. Call logs showed the call began at 09:59 hrs. He lost sight of the aircraft as he walked inside to the office, but about 30 seconds later, from the office window as he looked east, he stated that he saw the same aircraft above the treeline but that he could not hear any engine sound. The witness then described seeing the aircraft fly normally before “the tail pitch[ed] up and the right wing kick[ed] down and it seemed it was flipping over” as it disappeared below the treeline. At this point the witness hung up on the phone and shortly afterwards he saw black and heavy smoke rising.

Accident site
The accident site was in a grass field approximately 480 m south-west of the airstrip’s Runway 22 threshold, and approximately in line with the extended runway centreline"

A post-mortem examination indicated that the pilot probably suffered a cardiac event resulting in incapacitation shortly after takeoff.

Sources:

1. AAIB Final Report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6037bbf1e90e07055167bb50/Rans_S6-116_Coyote_II_G-BUWK_04-21.pdf
2. https://www.sussexlive.co.uk/news/sussex-news/sussex-plane-crash-live-updates-4393169
3. https://news.sky.com/story/light-plane-crashes-in-east-sussex-emergency-services-at-scene-12042280
4. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2020/08/04/emergency-services-at-scene-of-light-plane-crash-in-east-sussex/
5. https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18627118.plane-crashes-herring-lane-heathfield/
6. https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/national/18627179.emergency-services-scene-light-plane-crash-east-sussex
7. https://www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/news/pilot-dies-sussex-plane-crash-2932910
8. https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/pilot-dies-in-light-plane-crash-near-heathfield/
9. https://www.kentlive.news/news/sussex-news/sussex-plane-crash-pilot-killed-4394739
10. https://www.sussexlive.co.uk/news/sussex-news/heathfield-plane-crash-pilot-who-4400161
11. https://www.radarbox.com/data/registration/G-BUWK
12. https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/
13. http://avia-dejavu.net/photo%20G-BUWK.htm (photo)
14. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8591759/Light-aircraft-crashes-bursts-flames-Sussex.html
15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-53681424
16. https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/pilot-who-died-plane-crash-near-heathfield-named-2934809
17. https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=116317

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

Media:

RANS S6-116 Coyote II G-BUWK at Sywell, Northamptonshire 31 August 2013G-BUWK Rans S-6-116N Coyote II (9678731753)

Images:

Photo of G-BUWK courtesy AirHistory.net


Compton Abbas (EGHA)
27 October 2019; (c) Howard J Curtis

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Aug-2020 11:35 gerard57 Added
04-Aug-2020 11:56 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 12:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 15:03 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 16:26 Aerossurance Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 20:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Aug-2020 12:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
05-Aug-2020 19:30 Anon. Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
06-Aug-2020 23:33 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Aug-2020 04:47 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Source, Narrative]
07-Aug-2020 14:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
07-Aug-2020 14:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
12-Aug-2020 16:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
20-Oct-2020 19:00 Fly20 Updated [Source, Narrative]
04-Mar-2021 13:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Mar-2021 18:57 harro Updated [Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]
05-Mar-2021 03:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Narrative]

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