Investigators suggest microlight trike which crashed into Enstone Airfield was carrying too much weight during flight.
A microlight trike that crashed last July, killing its pilot and passenger, might have been carrying too much weight, it has been discovered.
Keith Poulton, 59, and Dr. Connor Morris, known as Edward, aged 62 and from Witney, died on July 3 when the light aircraft they were flying crash-landed at Enstone Airfield, smashed through a fence and collided with a lorry trailer.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) last week released its report on the investigation into the crash.
The report said it was thought the aircraft was carrying 30kg more weight than advised.
Owner of Enstone Flying Club Paul Fowler said he knew “experienced pilot” Dr Morris for 10 years through flying together.
Mr. Fowler said: “ I have known Ed for a long time through flying.
“It was a very sad and tragic accident and a great loss.”
Mr. Fowler did not wish to comment on the contents of the report, nor did Dr Morris’s family.
Investigators for the AAIB stated the maximum take off weight for the aircraft was 409kg, with the maximum weight limit for each seat being 110kg.
Pilots are required to carry out weight checks before flying the plane, to check it does not exceed the limit. The pilot, Dr Morris, weighed 83.8kg (11st 2lbs) and the passenger Mr. Poulton weighed 118.1kg or 18st 5lbs.
There was also a bag of equipment weighing 4.2kg and the helmets and headsets which weighed 3.4kg. A total of 38.5 litres of fuel also weighed 27.8kg.
At the time of the accident the aircraft weighed 442.3kg, about 33kg above the recommended weight.
The report stated: “The data provided by the aircraft designer indicated the distance available from the point of touchdown may have been insufficient to bring the overweight aircraft to a complete halt.
“However, even if the aircraft had not been over-loaded, there was insufficient distance remaining to take off again from the point at which power was reapplied.
“The extra weight is considered to have been a contributory factor to the accident.”
The AAIB pointed out that Dr. Morris, while being “experienced” as a pilot, had not flown a microlight with an instructor since gaining his license in 2006 and his Microlight Rating had lapsed.
Dr. Morris worked at the Nuffield Health Center in Welch Way from 1984 to 2012.
As well as his clinical work, he was also a community volunteer for organizations including Witney Talking News.
Story and photo: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk
Overran the runway, Enstone Airfield, 3 July 2015.
The aircraft made an approach towards the upwind end of a grass runway at Enstone Airfield. It touched down approximately 145 m before the end of the runway and, after rolling for approximately 80 m, the power was increased. The aircraft, which was overweight, remained on the ground and veered to the right passing through a fence and colliding with a vehicle trailer parked beside other equipment, close to the end of the runway. The pilot and his passenger both suffered fatal injuries. The pilot had not flown with an instructor in a flex-wing microlight since gaining his license in 2006 and his Microlight Rating had lapsed.
Accident report: https://www.gov.uk