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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 240840
Last updated: 13 May 2021
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Time:11:38 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2C (replica)
Registration: G-AWYI
MSN: 001
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Sywell aerodrome (ORM/EGBK), Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Northampton/Sywell Aerodrome (ORM/EGBK)
Destination airport:Northampton/Sywell Aerodrome (ORM/EGBK)
Investigating agency: AAIB
AAIB investigation to Replica Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c, G-AWYI: Lost control in flight, Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire, 2 September 2020. THe AAIB Fina Report was published on 29 April 2021, and the following is an excerpt from it:

"The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2C (replica) was taking part in a practice air display with five other vintage aircraft at Sywell Aerodrome. The display team had flown the same display sequence for a couple of years, but due to the Covid 19 pandemic, this was the first display practice of the 2020 season. During the display the six aircraft fly a series of choreographed manoeuvres and flypasts to simulate a first world war dogfight.

The six aircraft took off at 11:29 LT and commenced the display. After the first few manoeuvres, G-AWYI and a Fokker DR1 were holding position flying orbits at 500 600 ft to the right of crowd centre. The plan was for the pair to position behind a Sopwith Tri‑plane and another Fokker DR1 as they flew back down the display line. However, G-AWYI was seen to enter a descending right turn from 500 600 ft. The aircraft continued in the steep descending turn, completing two and half rotations, before it struck the ground at 11:38 hrs.

AAIB Conclusion
Whilst orbiting at low-level it is likely that the aircraft entered a spin, although the possibility that the initial departure was a spiral dive could not be eliminated. It was not possible to determine the reason for the initial departure from controlled flight.

It is likely that the pilot started to recover but tried to pitch up before the aircraft had built sufficient airspeed leading to a secondary spin. The pilot was wearing a kevlar flying helmet and it is likely this prevented him from suffering further serious injuries. There was no evidence of any mechanical fault which could have contributed to the accident."

Nature of Damage
Per the above AAIB report "Severe damage to entire airframe". However, the owners have stated to the press and media that they intend to rebuild G-AWYI to flying condition, claiming that the post crash wreckage was still in better condition than when they first rebuilt G-AWYI in 2005!


1. AAIB Final Report:

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



Photo of G-AWYI courtesy

Duxford (EGSU)
24 September 2017; (c) Mick Bajcar

Photo: AAIB

Revision history:

02-Sep-2020 14:16 gerard57 Added
02-Sep-2020 14:29 Michael Roots Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Sep-2020 14:29 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Sep-2020 14:37 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Sep-2020 14:39 harro Updated [Registration, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Sep-2020 14:41 harro Updated [Cn, Departure airport, Destination airport]
02-Sep-2020 14:46 Geno Updated [Location, Source]
02-Sep-2020 15:06 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source]
02-Sep-2020 15:53 harro Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
02-Sep-2020 21:22 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code]
22-Oct-2020 18:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
29-Apr-2021 09:05 harro Updated [Time, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]
29-Apr-2021 09:06 harro Updated [Embed code, Photo]
30-Apr-2021 02:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
30-Apr-2021 02:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
04-May-2021 19:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
04-May-2021 19:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-May-2021 17:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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