Trainee pilot crashes plane at Daedalus

ACCIDENT The airfield at Daedalus
ACCIDENT The airfield at Daedalus
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A STUDENT pilot suffered neck injuries when his plane crashed after a second attempt to land at Daedalus airfield.

The end of the man’s solo flight saw the single-engine light aircraft veer left off the runway in a 10 knot crosswind into the grass after landing at Lee-on-the-Solent on Wednesday at 3.45pm.

The Piper PA28 came to a halt after the plane’s nose wheel buckled, forcing the propeller into the ground.

Ambulance crews took the pilot to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, by ambulance.

A spokesman from South Central Ambulance Service said it had treated another person for minor injuries.

Staff from Phoenix Aviation, a flight training school, had given the pilot a briefing ahead of the short flight.

Steve Cockshott is the chief flying instructor at the firm and said the crosswind may have led to the crash – the first one in its four years of operation.

He said: ‘It’s not an uncommon event.

‘It looks like it hit a divot and it took the nose wheel off, and its only got three wheels ... it went down on its nose.

‘The pilot is fine, a couple of bruises but otherwise he’s fine.’

Britten-Norman airfield staff closed the site to air traffic and sent their two on-site fire crews to isolate the plane’s fuel supply and electrics.

A spokeswoman from Fly BN Ltd, the airfield management company at Lee-on-the-Solent, said the cause is being investigated.

She said: ‘A trainee pilot departed from the runway onto the grass while landing.

‘As part of the airfield safety management system, police, fire and ambulance services were called but we are pleased to confirm that the pilot only sustained some minor bruising.

‘Our airfield management team handled the incident extremely professionally.

‘At this point the exact cause of the incident is unknown but may be an unfortunate error due to a crosswind.’

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was also scrambled to the airfield but did not transport anyone.

The on-site Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s helicopter medic also attended.

Two appliances from Gosport fire station went to the airfield at around 4pm, along with five police cars.

Three appliances from Cosham fire station and its specialist equipment unit were called out but were sent back before arriving.

The runway was re-opened at 5.25pm and the Britten Norman response team was stood down.