Cotswold plane crash was flying lesson gone wrong


A flying lesson went horribly wrong when a plane overshot the runway and crashed into a hedge, the BBC can reveal.

It happened at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire on 4 August, with the plane coming to a rest after crossing a nearby road.

Two people – the pilot and instructor – were taken to hospital, but no motorists were injured.

Cotswold Airport said it could not comment during an investigation.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is looking into the circumstances around the crash.

Investigators have revealed the crash was a lesson involving a flying club. Both a student and instructor were on board, but the AAIB would not say who was at the controls.

It is thought the lesson involved practising “touch-and-go” landings.

As the Cherokee light aircraft landed, it crossed a taxiway and flew under a larger disused passenger plane and clipped the landing gear before ending up in the hedge next to the busy A429.

The road is the main route between Chippenham, Malmesbury and Cirencester, and was closed for several hours afterwards.

Aviation Analyst Sean Maffett said the escape was “extraordinary”.
Sean Maffett said the escape was “extraordinary”
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he said.

“How the pilot, whichever one was flying at the time, managed to avoid the parked aircraft, I don’t know.

“They would have run straight into the side of this aircraft at 80-100mph. The whole thing would have been completely destroyed.”

The final “field” investigation could take up to a year, due to the seriousness of the aircraft ending up crossing a main road.

An eyewitness, who does not want to be named, has told the BBC that it was “incredible” it missed vehicles and parked aircraft, as well as plane spotters who often stand at the fence.

Cotswold Airport has been contacted for comment, along with the owners of the plane. Neither has responded to our inquiries.

The AAIB said no safety recommendations had yet been made, but confirmed that should a serious issue with wide-reaching implications be revealed during the investigation, a safety bulletin would be issued.

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Olivia Wilson
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