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Well that's not happened before!

steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,992
edited September 2018 in The hub
Today at just before 1pm, a plane crashed into the garden next door to us! :shock:

It was a single-engine monoplane with fixed undercarriage, very lightweight. There were two people in it, both unharmed, no fire just petrol spillage. Fire Brigade and Police turned out, but no Ambulance required. They were actually heading straight at next door's house, but turned right into the tall conifer hedge and made a bit of a mess of it. As the Police told my wife, It could easily have been so much worse! :(

The plane had just taken off from a small airfield about 500 yards away from the bottom of our garden. the plane's engine was hesitant and stuttering before failing completely and then crashing. When the airfield first set up just over 14 years ago, one of those planes landing path was right over my house! I complained to the Planning Department, as I was concerned about engine failure when taking off or landing when their flight path was over my house or over any of the other houses that are on two sides of the airfield. Believe it or not, the third side is the A1. I did not get any response.

It has taken 14 years to be proved right, but it gives me no pleasure. I sure don't want it to happen again. :roll:

Does anyone know what the safety rules are covering small grassed airfields?

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  • 898kor898kor Posts: 81

    Does anyone know what the safety rules are covering small grassed airfields?

    Im a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health - the first rule of being such - dont go out of your area of expertise! So Im not going to comment! :D
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  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,992
    I have learned a lot in the last few days.

    The runway is 418m long and is pointing right at the gap between me and my other next door neighbour. My house is 360m away from the end of the runway. Most of the village is within 500m of the runway, and its been there for over twenty years!!

    Published regs on the operation and location of grasstrack runways or unlicensed airfields are not to be found easily, I have asked the Civil Aviation Authority to enlighten me. "Unlicensed Airfield" is the official term for runways that are used for 28 days per year or less.That could be one weekend per month plus a few bank holiday add-ons.

    The event has been reported (by the pilot I assume) to the Air Accident Investigation Authority (Investigation Branch) and they are deciding what to do about it. Hmm, sounds like they will decide to take no action (which I guess is not "doing nothing").

    As you can imagine, it has caused a bit of a stir in the village. :roll:
  • I guess this is the report (was linked from BBC regional news)

    https://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/ ... n-9006943/

    If this is not the same accident, it is one hell of a coincidence that a plane has crashed into Sordy family neighbours' gardens on more than one occasion in the past week.

    If you live next to the Sordy's, keep your head down .........
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Imagine anyone on the flight path at Heathrow reading that.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,992
    I guess this is the report (was linked from BBC regional news)

    https://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/ ... n-9006943/

    If this is not the same accident, it is one hell of a coincidence that a plane has crashed into Sordy family neighbours' gardens on more than one occasion in the past week.

    If you live next to the Sordy's, keep your head down .........

    Yep, that's the one!

    I took the first photo from the bottom of my garden, the next two from inside my next door neighbour's garden. The pic of the couple in front of the hole in the hedge are the neighbours (the Lees) on the other side of him. Both of them have photography as a serious hobby and neither thought to take a pic of the engine and propeller poking through the hedge before the wreckage was removed! The reason the guy who's garden the plane crashed into was not mentioned is that he sold the story (it is assumed it was another newspaper)! No flies on him, then!

    The Aviation Accident Investigation Authority (investigation Branch) has already visited the site, before the wreckage was removed and a report will be available in a week or so. I have contacted the Civil Aviation Authority and someone from the General Aviation side will be investigating the location and operation of the runway, with reference to its proximity to the village and to the A1 running alongside it 140m away.

    The airfield was fine when the microlights operating from it had a triangular fabric wing with the pilot hanging below it, with his legs as the undercarriage. They can take off and land much more steeply and are considerably more manoeuvrable than the latest crop of what are considered to be microlights. The definition of a microlight must have changed in the last 20 years because these look like small planes and with pilot on board weigh half a ton! (Plus 100 litres of fuel). :(
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,799 Lives Here
    Well I certainly hope it doesn't happen again for your sake.
    On a loosely related note I had a go on the cable car across the Thames from the Dome. As we were going up I looked along the Victoria Dock to see the runway of London City Airport directly in line with our rather lofty position. I thought that can't be a good idea, apparently it was discussed during the planning stage, according to the friend I was with, but they deemed it acceptable.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,992
    veronese68 wrote:
    Well I certainly hope it doesn't happen again for your sake.
    On a loosely related note I had a go on the cable car across the Thames from the Dome. As we were going up I looked along the Victoria Dock to see the runway of London City Airport directly in line with our rather lofty position. I thought that can't be a good idea, apparently it was discussed during the planning stage, according to the friend I was with, but they deemed it acceptable.

    Like our local airfield, the cable car route will continue to be "deemed acceptable" until suddenly circumstances prove that it no longer is. :(
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    That's mad, having dwellings on the end of a runway, what idiot thought that was a good idea. .

    Luckily no one was injured but I bet your butt cheeks are clenching when you hear a plane engine.
  • 02GF74 wrote:
    That's mad, having dwellings on the end of a runway, what idiot thought that was a good idea. .

    ...........

    I too a quick look on Google Earth at our airports.
    Gatwick & Stansted are OK, but take a look at Heathrow, Birmingham, and to a lesser degree, Manchester! Yikes! :shock:

    (Bristol is OK too, as is Leeds-Bradford and Glasgow. I didn't look any further.)

    The runways may point at the houses or the city centre, but the plan is always to take off and then turn at an angle to avoid overflying. Once sufficient height has been gained, overfly to your heart's content seems to be the rule! Landing is the reverse procedure, except in emergencies.

    Since the crash, planes using our local airfield have been following the guidelines scrupulously. :)
  • natrixnatrix Posts: 1,111
    Many years ago I used A method for estimating the risk posed to UK sites by civil aircraft accidents, by KA Slater. Civil Aviation Authority CS Report 9345 (1993) you might be able to get a copy through your library. Otherwise a quick google search found this https://saeninfo.files.wordpress.com/20 ... an2989.pdf which might be of some use...................
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  • natrix wrote:
    Many years ago I used A method for estimating the risk posed to UK sites by civil aircraft accidents, by KA Slater. Civil Aviation Authority CS Report 9345 (1993) you might be able to get a copy through your library. Otherwise a quick google search found this https://saeninfo.files.wordpress.com/20 ... an2989.pdf which might be of some use...................

    Great stuff! Thanks very much. :D

    The key risk factor of upper tolerable risk of death to a member of the public is I in 10,000.
    I won't bore with the details, but right now we have a risk more than 11 times higher than that. But nobody was killed! The Police and Fire Brigade all said how lucky we were. But nobody was killed! I'm not sure how "near misses" count.

    I guess the key is "risk of death" does that mean an actual death has to occur before the statistics are valid?
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