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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188466
Last updated: 30 January 2020
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Date:11-APR-1999
Time:16:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic VEZE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rutan VariEze
Owner/operator:Vandguard ACG Ltd & Temporal Songs Ltd
Registration: G-BKVE
C/n / msn: PFA074-10236
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Waltham, 7 miles SW of Canterbury, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Orléans Saint-Denis-de-l'Hôtel Airport (ORE/LFOZ)
Destination airport:Biggin Hill, Kent (BQH/EGKB)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 11-4-1999 when crashed due to engine failure, after the aircraft ran out of fuel, and came down in a field at Waltham, 7 miles south west of Canterbury, Kent (at approximate Coordinates: 51°11′52″N 1°01′00″E). Miscalculation of the rate of consumption of the fuel on board may also have been a factor. No injuries reported to the pilot (the sole person on board). According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The flight was planned from Orleans St Denis to Biggin Hill...The flight was uneventful, with winds and altitudes as planned until overhead Waltham, when, at 2,000 feet with carburettor heat selected on, the engine stopped without warning. A field was selected and the best glide speed of 100 mph maintained. After checking mixture and magnetos, an attempt was made to move the fuel selector, which is located under the right wrist, with the left hand (the right hand was on the control column).

The selector was jammed and the pilot could not apply enough force to move it to the fuselage tank position. At 500 feet, attempts to move the selector were abandoned to concentrate on the approach. Maximum range was required to reach the field, and the front landing gear was not lowered. The propeller stopped windmilling on final approach at approximately 70 mph and the aircraft yawed harshly; touchdown was achieved at approximately 60 mph.

The pilot commented that although the single isolated cause of the accident was the failure of the fuel selector, a combination of factors eroded other safety margins so that, what was planned as a contingency, became of vital importance. He further stated that the shoulder harness and the reclined seat position were very effective in reducing the risk of injury."

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report: "General damage to wing, fuselage, and engine mountings". although G-BKVE was sold on to a new owner on 15-11-1999, the damage sustained was presumably enough to render the airframe as "beyond economic repair", as the registration G-BKVE was cancelled by the CAA, but not until 7-1-2003, almost four years later.

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f78040f0b613420005f5/dft_avsafety_pdf_501440.pdf
2. CAA: https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=BKVE

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
01-Jul-2016 21:02 Dr.John Smith Added

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