Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Our Safety Blog

With (hopefully!) the imminent approach of more benign Spring and Summer weather, we hope you will continue to enjoy your flying with us! 

Various entries will continue to be posted on the blog from time to time, which are intended purely to serve as safety memory-joggers. They are in no way intended to reflect upon your undoubted flying skills! 

And if on occasion the weather does turn out to be not so kind after all, why not pass some down-time by scrolling back through the blog - you never know, you might find something there to remove a little rust! 


Wednesday, 11 March 2015


We have referred previously to this subject, and the following two Incident Reports from GASCO Flight Safety serve to highlight likely consequences of failing to establish and maintain a stabilised approach as early as possible.

Incident #1:

C152 on first solo circuit flown by a Student. All normal until the final stage, when the aircraft was observed to flare too high, causing a high descent rate which remained uncorrected. The aircraft bounced and the Student attempted to initiate go-around by applying full power and pulling back on yoke. The aircraft developed a nose-high attitude, the left wing dropped and the aircraft hit the ground in a left-wing low attitude.

Incident #2:

EV97 on short finals when the pilot realised he was too slow and too low. He applied power but could not prevent the aircraft from landing heavily in what he considered to be a level attitude. The landing roll was completed and a normal stop was made. However, post-flight inspection revealed right wing damage consistent with it having struck the ground.



Don't become Incident #5!

Incident #1:
PA18 bounced twice after touchdown and pilot decided to commence go-around. Airspeed was low and pitch-down could not be arrested, causing propeller and nose to strike the ground. The aircraft overturned onto its back

Prevention: Pilot admitted he should have initiated go-around immediately after the first bounce.

Incident #2:
PA32 touched down a significant distance along the wet grass strip, and could not be stopped before crashing through a fence beyond the end of the runway.

Prevention: Landing should have been aborted prior to touchdown in favour of go-around.

Incident #3:
TB20 landing on 550m grass runway damp with dew touched down about half way along. Hard braking induced a skid, causing the left main landing gear to collapse.

Prevention: Pilot commented that grass was wetter than he realised, and that with hindsight he should have aborted landing in favour of go-around as his margin for error was too small.

Incident #4:
CF172 performing practice circuits considered his touch-and-go approach to be normal but on touchdown the aircraft bounced twice, then landed nose-wheel first causing the propeller to strike the runway.

Prevention: As with Incident 1 above, pilot agreed he should have initiated go-around after the first bounce.

(Incident reports courtesy of GASCO Flight Safety)




PA28 entered the Solent Control Area whilst in receipt of a Basic Service from Solent Radar. The pilot inadvertently climbed above the base of the CTA, after a change of intended route without flight planning by reference to map and at pre-planned altitudes.

  •          Plan ALL flights, including short or local, by reference to chart and fly a properly filled PLOG to include pre-determined altitudes
  •          Check GPS map regularly during flight, as this shows CAS
  •          Focus on situational awareness throughout flight
  •          Ensure any equipment volume controls are set high enough to enable audibility of any in-flight airspace warnings

 (Incident report courtesy of GASCO Flight Safety)



Two good examples of why this is important!

Incident 1:

Pilot converting from flex-wing to fixed-wing was taxying to parking after a 90-minute flight in the fixed-wing aircraft, and to pass a parked aircraft he needed to turn to the right. In his previous flex-wing aircraft this would have involved moving his left foot forward, but in the fixed-wing this would turn the aircraft to the left. He mistakenly applied the wrong foot forward, inducing a rapid left turn which caused collision damage to the parked aircraft’s propeller.

Incident 2:

Pilot conducting his first flight on the type was taxying to the in-use runway. On approach to the threshold he “suddenly and inexplicably” lost control of the aircraft which turned 90 degrees to the left and collided with a temporary fence, stopping the engine. Pilot suggested that unfamiliarity with controls and cockpit layout was a contributing factor.

(Incident reports courtesy of GASCO Flight Safety)




Whilst taxying to parking after a flight, the propeller tip of a PA28 came into contact with a tie-down anchor which was unseen in the grass. Inspection revealed damage to the tip.


Remove tie-down equipment from area before flight, and inspect parking areas regularly.

(Incident report courtesy GASCO Flight Safety; picture of an unrelated illustrative example)


Sunday, 8 March 2015


Aircraft Emergency
Key objectives to be met:
·         The welfare of all on board (The primary contact point is 999)
·         Contact with the CEO, Operations Manager and Chief Flying Instructor without delay
·         Co-operation with the CAA/AAIB and other relevant  authorities if requested
24 hour Accident Reporting line:
·         Reportable accidents to be notified to the AAIB (telephone 01252 512299)
·         Responsibility for notification rests with the pilot or, if he/she is incapacitated, the operator
·         The aerodrome authority must also notify accidents on or adjacent to the airfield
Aircraft Accident:                                 
·         An event, including bird-strike, which endangers (or if not corrected would endanger) an aircraft, its occupants
or any other person
Aircraft Disabled on ground:
·         Contact Blackbushe FIS (telephone 01252 873338) and do as they request
·       If Blackbushe FIS not operational, and aircraft appears damaged, contact 999 for medical aid and fire service. Proceed to aircraft and assist
·         If no damage apparent, proceed to aircraft and assist
Aircraft Overdue:                                 
At 30 minutes Overdue
·         Senior staff member on duty is Person-in-Charge (PIC) and informs CEO, Ops Manager or Chief Flying Instructor.
·         PIC collects information on the flight (POB, routeing, departure time, proposed arrival time, fuel, exercises undertaken etc.).
·         PIC informs Distress & Diversion Service (telephone 01489 612406)
·         PIC informs Blackbushe FIS and seeks information they may have about the flight.
 At 45 minutes Overdue:
·         PIC updates CEO, Ops Manager or Chief Flying Instructor
·         PIC contacts Blackbushe FIS to seek further information they may have
·         PIC compiles next-of-kin data for the flight crew and passengers if known
At 60 minutes Overdue:
·         PIC assumes aircraft to have crashed and the occupants to be at best badly injured
·         PIC terminates operations, and ensures that the phone lines remain open
·         PIC contacts Blackbushe FIS to state that Aerobility regards the aircraft as crashed, give all flight details as per the Flight Operations Log, plus ongoing updates, 
confirm that Aerobility is contacting next-of-kin, and request to receive any updated information received by the Tower
·         PIC remains in the office until relieved by another member of staff
·         There must be no contact with public media at this stage, to protect the privacy of those involved


In the event of need select the appropriate contact(s) from the following list:

Work No.
Mobile No./e-mail
General Emergencies
Mike Miller-Smith, CEO

Brian Catchpoole, Operations Manager
0303 303 1230

0303 303 1230

07747 617045
07752 895786
Flight Safety Matters

Mike Miller-Smith, CEO

Brian Catchpoole, Operations Manager

Mike Owen, Chief Flying Instructor
0303 303 1230

0303 303 1230

0303 303 1230


Fire Safety Matters
·         Emergency

·         Advice


Hampshire Fire & Rescue


01256 300372


Volunteer Matters

Bridie Collins
0303 303 1230
Health & Safety Matters
·         Responsibility

·         Advisor

·         Enforcement Agency

Brian Catchpoole, Operations Manager

Tony Birth, Volunteer

Health & Safety Executive, Priestley House, Priestley Road
Basingstoke, RG24 9NW

 0303 303 1230

01252 873432

01256 404100
(Fax only)

 07752 895786
07941 601438

Environmental Health Matters

Hart D.C.

01252 774421