Belfast Telegraph

Pilot and student escape injury in Northern Ireland plane crash

The light aircraft came to rest on a river bank.
The light aircraft came to rest on a river bank.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

A flying instructor and his student walked away from a plane wreck uninjured after it crashed on landing in Northern Ireland.

The incident happened at Tandragee airstrip in Craigavon on March 23. 

During a lesson the 63-year-old instructor noted the student was having difficulty on landing and took over to demonstrate how he could get the manoeuvre correct.

As the instructor - with over 1,600 hours flying experience - was bringing the plane down it "landed hard" causing the right landing gear to collapse leading it to veer to the right.

Shortly after the nose wheel collapsed and the aircraft slid down a river bank.

While the emergency services were notified by those who witnessed the crash, they did not attend after the instructor and an off-duty paramedic made assurances there was no injuries.

It's thought the nose wheel collapse was as a result of the landing and from when it hit the soft ground.

The incident is detailed in the latest Air Accidents Investigation Branch monthly bulletin for June.

It also includes a detailed report of a Flybe crash landing at Belfast International after it developed a fault with the forward landing gear.

It also reports of another in incident in which a plane was written off after it hit a metal gate post on landing at a Co Tyrone airfield.

The incident happened on April 10.

The plane, which was only carrying the 51-year-old pilot, was making an an approach to land on the runway at Carrickmore Airfield when he encountered turbulent air.

The aircraft began to sink which the pilot corrected by applying more power. The aircraft then encountered lift before once again sinking towards the runway.

Fearing that the aircraft could stall, the pilot - who had 220 hours flying experience - pushed the stick forward and the aircraft landed heavily. The aircraft slewed to the right hitting a metal gate post.

The report stated that although the pilot felt there was little more he could have done to prevent the heavy landing, he did say pulling out of the landing may have been the better option.

The report said the aircraft was beyond economical repair.

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