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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 179976
Last updated: 24 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C185 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna A185E Skywagon
Registration: SE-FMX
MSN: 185-01740
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bentwaters Airfield, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Bentwaters Airfield, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Investigating agency: AAIB
Substantially damaged 5/4/2014 when overturned on landing at Bentwaters Airfield, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk. According to the following extract from the AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft was landing on the tarmac Runway 25 at Bentwaters Airfield, with wind from 180-degrees at 15 knots. Having observed the windsock, the pilot made a wing-down crosswind approach with the tail wheel locked in the trailing position to assist directional control on the ground. On touchdown there was a slight bounce before the aircraft settled on all its wheels. It then slewed violently to the left and the right tyre “dug in”, causing the right wing to contact the runway and tipping the aircraft on its nose while still travelling at approximately 50 mph. The aircraft came to rest inverted and the uninjured occupants vacated it using the normal exits.

The pilot stated that he underestimated the severity of the gusting crosswind and had been unable to prevent the aircraft yawing into wind. He commented that the aircraft had a “notoriously big fin”, making it particularly susceptible to crosswinds, and that in future he would avoid landing in a crosswind of this magnitude.

Even in crosswinds less than the demonstrated maximum for a type, rudder alone may not be sufficient to maintain directional control. Applying into-wind aileron throughout the landing ground roll can assist in maintaining directional control. There was no indication of any pre-existing mechanical defect that might have affected the outcome.

Damage sustained to airframe: Engine shock-loaded, propeller, wings and fin damaged. It is notable that the owner of this aircraft is the BBC TV "Top Gear" presenter, James May. SE-FMX also appeared in his BBC show "Man Labs".

("Potted" history: Built in 1970 Formerly N1986U (Interim Registration June 1970 for ferry flight). To A/B Lapplandsflyg, Umeå (lake) Registered 09-07-1970 as SE-FMX. To A/B Lapplandsflyg, Umeå (lake) 11-1974. To Svaipaflyg KB, Johansson & Forsgren, Laisvall 07-1978. To Forsgren A/B, Lidingö (lake) Eo Fjällflygarna A/B 09-08-1989. To Nefor A/B, Lidingö (lake) until replaced by SE-LCO 31-08-1998. To Revnoc A/B, Spånga 20-06-2000. To Scandinavian Technologies Sweden A/B, Spånga 2002. To Mobi Nova A/B, Uppsala, 2011. To James May, England 2012)


1. AAIB:

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


Cessna 185 SE-FMX at White Waltham (8674638253)

Revision history:

28-Sep-2015 19:09 Dr. John Smith Added

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