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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 148314
Last updated: 19 November 2020
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Date:08-JUN-1997
Time:12:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna F172H Skyhawk (Reims)
Owner/operator:Weald Air Services
Registration: G-AZZP
C/n / msn: F172-0730
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:near Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, 9 miles south of Maidstone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, Kent (EGKH)
Destination airport:Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, Kent (EGKH)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off 8 June 1997 when engine stopped due to fuel starvation (possible vapour lock) and crashed near Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield, 9 miles south of Maidstone, Kent. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft took off from Lashenden (Headcorn) Airfield at 13:05 hours in CAVOK conditions with a light south westerly wind. In the Folkestone area the pilot checked the fuel gauges and noticed nothing amiss or any imbalance. Shortly afterwards the aircraft returned to Headcorn circuit and positioned onto final approach for Runway 29.

At a height of about 500 feet on final approach, the engine faltered and stopped. The pilot transmitted a MAYDAY message, stating that the aircraft had run out of fuel. With no time for detailed failure analysis, he determined that he could not reach the airfield and so he turned downwind and selected a field for a forced landing.

The field was quite small and although the aircraft touched down near the start, it overran the available length and came to a sudden stop in the hedge at the far end. The pilot turned off the fuel selector, shut down the electrics, and turned off the ignition before he and his passengers vacated through the right hand exit door.

The airport emergency vehicle arrived at the scene within two or three minutes; the local authority fire and ambulance services arrived soon afterwards. The two front seat occupants were unhurt, but the rear seat passengers were taken to hospital with possible injuries. Both were discharged the same day suffering from bruises inflicted by their lap straps."

Post-accident examinations of the airframe revealed significant fuel leakage into the left wing of the Cessna. Whether this was sufficient to exhaust the aeroplane's fuel supply does not seem to have been determined - particularly as the pilot asserted that he had selected both wing tanks before taking off on the Cessna's final flight.

The AAIB report notes that the damage sustained to the aircraft was to the "Wings, nose gear and fuselage (beyond repair)". As the AAIB report confirms that G-AZZP was "damaged beyond repair", the registration was cancelled by the CAA on 20 October 1997.

Unusually, the CAA records also note that the registered owner of G-AZZP was "Addressee Status: Deceased", four months after the accident, although the AAIB report does not note any fatalities as a result of this accident...

Cessna F172H Skyhawk was built in 1970, and was first registered in Norway as LN-RTA in 1970. It was first UK registered as G-AZZP on 24 July 1972.

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f3e4ed915d1374000499/dft_avsafety_pdf_502397.pdf
2. CAA: History of G-AZZP 1972-1984: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AZZP-1.pdf
3. CAA: History of G-AZZP 1984-1995: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-AZZP-2.pdf
4. G-AZZP at Biggin Hill (EGKB) on 18/5/1973: https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1318784
5. Cessna F172H G-AZZP at the Leicester PFA Rally 7/7/1979: https://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/000289533.html

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Sep-2012 05:54 Uli Elch Added
31-Mar-2015 14:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
31-Mar-2015 14:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
06-Apr-2015 14:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
18-Jun-2016 14:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source]
19-Nov-2020 17:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative, Accident report]

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