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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 265299
Last updated: 21 November 2021
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Date:28-FEB-2021
Time:14:00 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vans RV-7
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: G-CDME
MSN: PFA 323-14151
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Farm strip near Goose Green, Pulborough, West Sussex. -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Farm strip near Goose Green, Pulborough, West Sussex.
Destination airport:Farm strip near Goose Green, Pulborough, West Sussex.
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
AAIB investigation to Vans RV-7, G-CDME: Aircraft wheels and spats dug into soft ground during landing and the aircraft nosed over on to its back, Farm strip near Goose Green, Pulborough, West Sussex, 28 February 2021. The AAIB Final Report was published on 8 July 2021, and the following is an excerpt from it...

"The pilot was landing at this private grass strip after carrying out a short flight within the COVID restriction regulations. The touchdown was normal and slightly to the left of the runway centre line. After the aircraft had travelled approximately 140 m, it encountered a patch of soft ground which caused a rapid deceleration as the wheels sank in. The tail started to rise until the aircraft nose and propeller struck the ground and dug in, resulting in the aircraft nosing over and coming to rest upside down on its back. The propellor, engine and its mounting, were damaged as was the canopy, fin and wheels spats. The pilot was tightly strapped in by his four-point harness and was uninjured. He made the aircraft safe and was able to exit the aircraft

=Circumstances of the accident=
Having not flown for several weeks, the pilot, who was also the owner of the airstrip, had cut the grass with a tractor and gang mower, and had walked the runway prior to deciding to fly. In his assessment of the accident causes, he drew the following conclusions:
● Having cut the grass on the runway using a tractor with low footprint tyres, the runway conditions seemed normal. But with hindsight, he considers that he should have carried out a slow taxi test in the aircraft. This may have enabled his discovery of any softer less suitable areas of the runway.
● Although the wheel spats had been modified to create more wheel clearance, they quickly became blocked when the aircraft entered the area of soft ground.
● He also considers that a complete removal of the spats would have resulted in a different outcome.
● He also observed that his attention to the safety harness being correctly worn prevented injuries

=AAIB comment=
The cause of this accident was the sudden deceleration of the aircraft due to the increased drag created by the mainwheels and spats as they became clogged with soil. The tail started to rise and the propeller contacted the ground and dug in; the speed and momentum of the aircraft resulted in the aircraft nosing-over.

The AAIB has reported on numerous accidents where the combination of soft grass runways and aircraft fitted with wheel spats have been causal or contributory to an accident. These have often resulted in aircraft damage or injury, in some cases serious, to the occupants.

The pilot of this aircraft had taken steps to ensure his safety harness was properly fastened with tight straps as per his normal practice. He described how when the aircraft came to rest, the “straps held well”. The correctly fastened safety harness is likely to have greatly reduced his risk of injury in this accident. The AAIB has reported on numerous low energy accidents where safety harnesses had not been properly worn and the occupants of aircraft have sustained varying degrees of injury and in some of these cases, fatal injuries.

=Damage Sustained to Airframe=
Per the AAIB Report "Moderate damage to engine and mount, propeller, canopy, rudder, fin and spats".

Sources:

1. AAIB Final Report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/60c2206be90e07438f7af656/Vans_RV-7_G-CDME_07-21.pdf

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report
Location

Media:

Vans RV-7 G-CDME at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK, 26th May 2017: Vans RV-7 ‘G-CDME’ (42198161811)

Images:

Photo of G-CDME courtesy AirHistory.net


Old Warden (EGTH)
1 September 2013; (c) Peter de Jong

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
09-Jul-2021 18:54 Dr. John Smith Added
10-Jul-2021 08:35 harro Updated [Embed code, Accident report]

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