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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 173880
Last updated: 18 November 2018
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Date:13-OCT-2001
Time:13:47hrs
Type:Silhouette image of generic EUPA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Europa 912
Owner/operator:Golf Hotel Group
Registration: G-BWGH
C/n / msn: PFA 247-1258
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Little Sark, Island of Sark, Channel Islands -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Jersey-States Airport, Channel Islands (JER/EGJJ)
Destination airport:Exeter, Devon (EXT/EGTE)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 13 October 2001 when crashed at Little Sark, Channel Islands due to engine failure. According to the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft departed Jersey and commenced climbing to Flight Level 50. Upon reaching approximately 2,600 feet altitude the pilot was aware of a hot smell and noticed that the engine oil pressure had fallen to zero. He informed ATC of the problem and reported the aircraft's position which was about midway between Jersey and Guernsey. The engine then began to run roughly and after about 30 seconds, it stopped. The pilot made a 'Mayday' transmission declaring his intention to try and reach the island of Sark approximately 3 miles away but ATC suggested he should head towards Guernsey where there were more suitable landing sites.

The pilot assessed that ditching in the sea at that time of the year was unwise if land could be reached and although aware of the 'no fly' zone around the island, he decided to head towards Sark. Having reached Little Sark (an isthmus forming the southern part of the island of Sark), at about 800 feet amsl, the pilot became aware that all the fields were very small.

About two miles in the distance he could see the main island of Sark where the fields appeared slightly larger but because of the low height of the aircraft, he felt that it was not safe to attempt a landing on the main island. There were no beaches visible on Sark so he decided to force land in a small field below the aircraft.

Both the pilot and his passenger were experienced microlight pilots used to landing in small fields. The pilot selected full flap, switched off the aircraft's fuel and electrical systems and initiated a diving turn, maintaining the airspeed at 75 knots.

The approach was made into wind at about 60 knots and aligned with the diagonal of the field. The aircraft was purposely landed heavily in an attempt to remove as much forward momentum as possible. The pilot then aimed the aircraft at the top left-hand corner of the field so that the left wing would obliquely impact a bank that formed the left-hand edge of the field.

This caused the aircraft to ground loop forcing the tail into the bank at the far end of the field. The tail absorbed the majority of the impact forces. The pilot and his passenger stepped out of the wreckage unhurt. The pilot contacted ATC using a hand held radio to inform them that no one had been injured"

Europa G-BWGH sustained substantial damage to the engine, propeller, undercarriage, port wing, fuselage and tailplane. As a result, the registration was cancelled by the CAA on 4 March 2002. The wreckage was photographed in storage in the rafters of the hangar at Guernsey Airport on 5 September 2009 (See link #6). It was reported on Facebook in 2010 that the fuselage was being converted into a Flight Simulator for use by 201 Squadron Air Training Cadets at Macclesfield, Cheshire

According to the Sark Fire & Rescue Service website, the crash of Europa G-BWGH was only the second time that an aircraft had crashed on the island (due to the imposition of a "no fly zone" over Sark); the first crash was during the Second World War when an Avro Lancaster mistakenly crash-landed in the field opposite Seigneurie farm in 1942.

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422ecc6ed915d1374000135/dft_avsafety_pdf_502332.pdf
2. CAA: https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=BWGH
3. http://www.sarkfireservice.org.gg/SFRS_History.pdf
4. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.407002801032.177819.728791032&l=a14a112000
5. http://www.aviator.nl/images/G/G-BWGH-13116-big.jpg
6. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jerseyaviationimages/3892474402
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aviation_accidents_and_incidents_in_the_Channel_Islands#2000s

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Feb-2015 16:16 Dr. John Smith Added
18-Jul-2016 19:35 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Jul-2016 19:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
18-Jul-2016 19:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]

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