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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 189271
Last updated: 2 September 2019
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Time:c. 15:30 LT
Type:Druine D.31 Turbulent
Owner/operator:The Tiger Club (1990) Ltd
Registration: G-ARNZ
C/n / msn: PFA 579
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Sea, In the Inter-Tidal Zone, off Herne Bay, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Maypole Farm Airfield, Herne Bay, Kent (EGHB)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AAIB
A Druine D.31 Turbulent ditched in the sea during the Herne Bay Air Show. The aircraft came down close to the shore and nosed over. The pilot survived, having been assisted from the wreckage by members of the public and appears to have received only minor injuries. The aircraft was quickly brought ashore.

UPDATE: The official AAIB report into the accident was published on August 10, 2017, and the following is an extract from that report...

"Engine ingested balloon fragment causing loss of power, ditched by beach, Herne Bay, Kent, 14 August 2016.

During the ‘balloon bursting’ element of a flying display on the coast, the engine lost power and the pilot ditched the aircraft in shallow water. The aircraft flipped inverted and the pilot was trapped in the cockpit by his life jacket, which had inflated automatically, and his proximity to the sea bed. Two members of the public righted the aircraft and helped the pilot out of the cockpit. The pilot had suffered a minor injury. CAA Safety Sense Leaflet 21d, ‘Ditching’, provides advice on the correct type of life jacket to wear and guidance and information on ditching."

The investigation revealed that a fragment of balloon had become lodged in the carburettor restricting the airflow into the engine. An approved modification has since been developed to fit a screen to the intake of the carburettor."

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Damage to the wing and [damage] from salt water immersion"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

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


Photo of G-ARNZ courtesy

Shoreham (EGKA / ESH)
31 August 2013; (c) Peter de Jong

Revision history:

14-Aug-2016 15:25 harro Added
14-Aug-2016 15:34 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
14-Aug-2016 15:54 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
14-Aug-2016 16:42 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
14-Aug-2016 16:43 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Damage]
14-Aug-2016 17:06 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
16-Aug-2016 09:46 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
30-Apr-2017 23:56 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Source]
30-Apr-2017 23:57 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
10-Aug-2017 17:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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