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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188140
Last updated: 17 November 2020
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Date:31-JUL-1996
Time:14:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee
Owner/operator:Fyer-Robins Aviation Ltd
Registration: G-BCIF
C/n / msn: 28-7425325
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Dunkirk Airstrip, between Faversham and Canterbury, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Dunkirk Airstrip, between Faversham and Canterbury, Kent
Destination airport:East Midlands Airport (EMA/EGMX)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off (destroyed) 31-7-1996 when crashed on take off from Dunkirk Airstrip, between Faversham and Canterbury, Kent; aircraft caught fire on impact. The pilot was killed, but possibly was dead from a cardiac arrest before the crash impact; the passenger escaped from the wreckage with minor injuries. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The take off commenced at about 14:00 hours, the engine noise and initial acceleration of the aircraft appeared to be normal, and as the aircraft approached the brow of the up-slope, the nose wheel oleo was seen to extend. Shortly after entering the final 600 feet of level runway, dust and gravel were seen behind the main wheels as if the brakes had been applied, with more debris apparent from the left main wheel.

There was no coincident reduction in the engine noise, suggesting that this was not an attempt to abandon the take off. Tyre marks on the gravel surface at this point indicated a number of brake applications with an attendant change of heading to the left of about 5 degrees; there was no indication from the tyre marks of any subsequent attempt by the pilot either to regain or to parallel the runway centre-line.

This change of heading meant that the left main wheel was on the grass edge of the runway when the aircraft reached the upwind threshold. Eyewitnesses noted that during the final 400 feet or so the main wheels appeared to bounce on the runway surface, indicating that the aircraft had probably attained flying speed, but there was no attempt to rotate to the normal take-off attitude.

At the end of the runway surface, the ground fell away sharply into the road cutting, and as the aircraft entered this, on a ballistic trajectory, the pilot slumped forward from the waist and fell against the control column. This was the first indication to the passenger that the pilot had a problem.

The passenger then attempted to pull the control column back but was unable to do so because of the pilots body weight; shortly afterwards he was aware of an increasing angle of bank to the left which he was also unable to correct. Eye witnesses noted the increasing angle of bank to the left and also commented on a reduction in engine power "as if the throttle had been pulled back"; the passenger could not remember adjusting the throttle.

The aircraft clipped a tree on the far side of the road, and this caused the deviation of bank angle to the left; it then hit the ground in dense woodland and caught fire almost immediately. After impact the passenger realised that he was hanging upside-down in his diagonal harness assembly and that a fire had started on the pilot's side of the cockpit. He shouted to the pilot and shook him but received no response. He then undid his own harness, fell to the ground and crawled away from the aircraft which was now blazing.

At this stage 2 men who had seen the accident arrived on the scene. The first checked the passenger for injuries and subsequently carried him further away from the blazing wreck."

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Aircraft destroyed". As a result, the registration G-BCIF was cancelled by the CAA on 13-12-1996 as "destroyed"

Sources:

1. Irish Independent - Thursday 1 August 1996
2. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422fb3940f0b613460008a9/dft_avsafety_pdf_502130.pdf
3. CAA: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-BCIF.pdf
4. https://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/G-BCIF.html
5. https://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17493.0
6. https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=98344
7. Map location: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.2237865,0.9998386,2221m/data=!3m1!1e3
8. https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=76963
9. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/location/Canterbury%20-%20Dunkirk%20Airfield

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Jun-2016 23:58 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Jun-2016 00:02 Dr.John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Narrative]
15-Jun-2016 11:06 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Nov-2020 20:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description