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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187539
Last updated: 16 November 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28R model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow
Owner/operator:Bravo Juliet Whiskey Flying Ltd
Registration: G-BDKV
C/n / msn: 28R-7335297
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Elmer Sands, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Bembridge, Isle of Wight (BBP/EGHJ)
Destination airport:Southend, Essex (SEN/EGMC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
On the afternoon of 27 March 1994 Piper Cherokee Arrow G-BDKV took off from Bembridge en route to Southend. However only ten minutes into the flight the pilot experienced engine vibration which, despite all he did, simply got worse and the oil pressure was dropping. Thus he put out a distress call and hoped to make Goodwood Airfield. But with the vibration becoming intolerable, oil pressure dropping almost to zero and smoke coming from the engine, he realised that he would not reach land and would have to ditch at sea as close to land as possible.

That point was Elmer Sands, to the east of Bognor Regis. Presumably the tide was high as the beach was steeply banked shingle (at low tide there is an expanse of flat sand). Thus he made his descent parallel to the waterline, keeping his air speed above stall speed until he was a few feet above the water when he pulled the nose up, stalled and pancaked into the water. The Piper remained upright and afloat. The pilot and his passenger were able to exit it through the starboard door (which had been opened ajar, as a precaution, during the descent) and across the starboard wing before jumping into the sea and swimming 50-60 metres to shore. Neither were injured.

The Piper was recovered from the shallow water in which it had ditched and the engine was subjected to examination. What this revealed was a catastrophic failure of the number three cylinder, due to metal fatigue, which explained the in-flight vibration. As a result of this engine damage, the damage to the airframe caused by ditching and salt water corrosion, G-BDKV was beyond economic repair and its registration was cancelled by the CAA as 'destroyed' on 25 May 1994.

Piper G-BDKV was built in 1973, and was ex-G-BBEH from 31/7/1973 before becoming EI-AYE from 20/8/1973. When it returned to the UK on 29/10/1975 it became G-BDKV instead of its former registration. However, CAA record indicate that G-BBEH was never applied to the airframe, and thus (quote) "marks never adapted, see G-BDKV"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA as G-BDKV:
3. CAA as G-BDKV:
4. CAA as G-BBEH:
6. Wreckage at Fairoaks (EGTF) on 20/3/2005 (wearing spurious markings as "G-OOAT":

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

Revision history:

23-May-2016 13:13 Dr.John Smith Added
23-May-2016 13:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Nov-2020 21:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description