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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 189192
Last updated: 22 November 2019
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Time:10:15 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic EUPA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Europa XS
Registration: G-BYSA
C/n / msn: PFA 247-13199
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Withernsea Beach,near Newsham Gardens, Withernsea, Humberside -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Hollym Airfield, East Riding of Yorkshire
Investigating agency: AAIB
An Europa XS home-built aircraft force landed onto a beach near Withernsea, East Yorkshire. The pilot was able to clear himself from the wreckage and make his way up a cliff to a nearby house.

Bev Allen, Duty Controller for the HM Coastguard said: ‘We received a distress beacon alert so we immediately sent the Coastguard Rescue Teams, Coastguard helicopter, RNLI lifeboats to the area and we also sent out a broadcast to vessels in the area. Subsequently, we took a phone call from the casualty who had reported he had crashed his aircraft on the shoreline and he had made his way up the cliff to a nearby house."

It's fortunate the pilot was equipped with a 406 mhz beacon which had alerted us to the fact that he was in difficulty. He had the correct safety equipment to alert us to his predicament and we are pleased that he's come out of this incident relatively unscathed."

Ms Allen said it was quickly established that he was the only person on board. A UK Coastguard helicopter has reportedly located the wreckage, which has now washed up on the beach"

According to the following BBC report - derived from an interview of the owner of the cottage to which the pilot went to raise the alarm:

"Tony Johnson said: "My wife was cleaning the windows when she noticed the man in the front garden, absolutely covered in mud and soaking wet. She opened the window and said 'can we help you?' and he said 'yes, I'm the pilot. I've just crashed my plane".

Mr Johnson said he was told the pilot had "sent a signal out for help" after his plane crashed but "nothing had happened. So he decided to climb up the cliffs and walk down Holmpton Road and ours was the first house that he came across.

"We got him into the house... we dried him off and made him a cup of tea and I actually called the coastguard at Bridlington... then I dialled 999.He was compos mentis. He was able to talk to us and he was quite clear in his conversation. He damaged his left leg and ripped his trousers, but we'd given him some more clothing."

UPDATE: The official report into the accident was published by the AAIB on 12-5-2017, and states that the aircraft was attempting to land at Hollym Airfield, near Withernsea, East Yorkshire. Hollym Airfield is a cliff-top airstrip, and the AAIB reports that the aircraft went "over the edge" and crashed onto the beach below. According to the following excerpt from the AAIB report:

"Hollym Airfield is an unlicensed grass airfield near the village of Withernsea, Yorkshire. The airfield is Prior Permission Required (PPR), so the pilot had telephoned the airfield operator for permission to land. He had previously landed at Hollym on four occasions, therefore the owner granted permission without a detailed briefing.

When the aircraft arrived overhead the airfield, the windsock showed the surface wind to be from about 310 degrees at less than 10 knots. Therefore, the pilot decided to land on Runway 32, which he had last used four years before. The first approximately 150 metres of Runway 32 is bounded by a fence on its left side and a cliff, down to the sea, on its right. The fence then stops and the area to the left of the runway opens out onto the main grass airfield, with Runway 32 continuing to parallel the cliff.

The pilot reported that he flew a normal approach and landing to Runway 32, although he was aware that both the fence and the cliff edge were unexpectedly close. During the landing roll he heard a noise, possibly from the right side of the aircraft, and it slewed to the right. He attempted to control the aircraft and apply braking, resulting in the aircraft rolling out on the extreme right side of the runway. As the aircraft slowed, the tail wheel went over the edge of the cliff and, at low speed, the aircraft fell tail-first off the cliff into the sea.

The accident was not witnessed by anyone else, so the emergency services were not initially alerted. The pilot escaped from the aircraft and after a few minutes was able to retrieve and activate his 406 MHz PLB. After another approximately thirty minutes, he was able to make his way up the cliff to a nearby house. Help then arrived and he was transferred to hospital for treatment to minor injuries sustained after he had exited the aircraft. "

Aircraft confirmed as "damaged beyond repair" (probably due to immersion in salt water) as the registration G-BYSA was cancelled by the CAA on 21-10-2016 as "destroyed"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

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

Revision history:

10-Aug-2016 15:16 Aerossurance Added
10-Aug-2016 15:17 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
10-Aug-2016 18:37 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
10-Aug-2016 20:31 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Phase, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
10-Aug-2016 20:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
10-Aug-2016 22:03 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Embed code, Narrative]
10-Aug-2016 22:04 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
30-Apr-2017 23:47 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
30-Apr-2017 23:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
12-May-2017 23:16 Dr.John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-May-2017 23:17 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Narrative]
12-May-2017 23:20 Dr.John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source]

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