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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188951
Last updated: 11 November 2019
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Date:17-DEC-2003
Time:13:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic VEZE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rutan VariEze
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: G-BEZE
C/n / msn: PFA074-10207
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Rayleigh, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Duxford, Cambridgeshire (EGSU)
Destination airport:Southend, Essex (SEN/EGMC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond economic repair)* 17-12-2003 when wrecked in a forced landing at Rayleigh, Essex, due to engine failure. The pilot (the sole person on board) sustained minor injuries. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft was diverting to Southend, from its planned destination of Duxford, because the runway at Duxford was closed. The aircraft descended from an altitude of 2,300 feet to 1,000 feet, where cruise power was reapplied. Twenty seconds later, without warning, the engine failed. The pilot selected the other fuel tank, reapplied carburettor heat and cycled the magnetos but was unable to restart the engine.

He trimmed the aircraft for its best glide speed and selected a suitable field for a forced landing. Unfortunately the surface of the field was of moist clay and during touchdown the rear landing gear detached from the airframe. The left wing then came into contact with the surface and detached. The aircraft then rotated longitudinally and came to rest inverted.

The pilot, who was wearing a four point harness and suffered only minor injuries, was unable to extricate himself from the cockpit. The cockpit area had remained intact but most of the canopy had disintegrated allowing the airframe to become buried in the soft surface. In order to effect an exit the pilot had to commence digging into the soil at the side of the cockpit. A rescuer who arrived on the scene sometime later was able to assist in the evacuation by lifting the front of the aircraft sufficiently to enable the pilot to escape.

The investigation was unable to establish the cause of the engine failure. The pilot reported that he suspected that carburettor icing could have been the cause of the engine failure".

Nature of Damage to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Damaged beyond economic repair". *Whilst it is known that the Permit to Fly expired on 02-06-2004 (see link #3), and, from this, it can be inferred that G-BEZE was not repaired after the above accident, the aircraft has never been de-registered - the registration was still current in August 2016, some 13 years later!

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422fb9be5274a1317000881/dft_avsafety_pdf_028737.pdf
2. CAA: https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=BEZE
3. http://www.laa-archive.org.uk/results.php?q=Rutan%20Varieze&fields=model&page=0&sort=oldest&ft=&limit=10
4. http://www.edendale.co.uk/MAIP/GA.B1.6.html
5. Rutan Vari-Eze G-BEZE at Luton Airport on 3rd October 1987: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59455242@N07/15036274109

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
31-Jul-2016 11:27 Dr.John Smith Added

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