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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138749
Last updated: 22 June 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna F172M Skyhawk (Reims)
Owner/operator:Hatfield Flying Club Ltd
Registration: G-BEBI
C/n / msn: F172-1461
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:West Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Elstree Hertfordshire (EGTR)
Destination airport:Clacton, Essex (EGSQ)
Investigating agency: AAIB
The pilot, who was part owner of the aircraft, and three friends planned a landaway flight from Elstree, Hertfordshire to Clacton, Essex. The weather was fine, and the pilot had flown into Clacton previously and was therefore familiar with the airfield's local features and noise sensitive areas.

On arrival at Clacton the wind was a light easterly with Runway 18 in use. Runway 18 has a 610 metre grass surface, but the landing threshold is displaced and the landing distance available is 502 metres. The final third of the runway has a slight down slope.

In an attempt to reduce noise disturbance, the pilot set the aircraft up on a steep, glide approach, but he found s-turns were required to achieve a satisfactory approach path, and he therefore carried out a go around. The second approach was also steep, but the aiming point appeared to be just short of the displaced threshold and although the speed was some 10-15 knots fast, the pilot decided to continue and "decelerate in the flare and hold-off".

During the extended flare the pilot lost sight of the airfield boundary and was not aware of how much runway remained (eyewitnesses estimated that the initial touchdown was beyond the midpoint of the runway). Once he lowered the nose wheel, the pilot immediately appreciated the close proximity of the airfield boundary hedge and initially attempted to steer to the right to avoid impact, but he changed his mind and applied power to carry out a go around.

The aircraft struck the boundary hedge and a lamp post, crossed a road and came to rest in a hedge on the far side of the road having suffered extensive damage. The pilot turned off the fuel and electrics and with two of the passengers vacated the aircraft. There were no signs of fire, and the elderly third passenger remained in the aircraft until medical assistance became available. He was eventually assisted to vacate the aircraft and taken to hospital for overnight observation.

In a very frank and helpful report the pilot felt that the following factors contributed to the accident:

Too much concern about noise abatement.
Continuing a steep, glide approach.
Loss of sight of the airfield boundary hedge during the flare.
Late attempt at a go-around.

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Aircraft damaged beyond economic repair". As a result, the registration G-BEBI was cancelled by the CAA on 29/11/2002 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
5. G-BEBI Reims Cessna F.172M Skyhawk at IAT Fairford:

Revision history:

26-Sep-2011 06:29 Uli Elch Added
11-Nov-2012 13:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
22-Jul-2016 17:09 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]

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