A plane flipped over after a tricky landing at a Shropshire airfield.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has released a report of an incident at Sleap Airfield, near Wem, which saw the propeller dig into the ground and flip the plane frontwards.

The investigation found that “at the end of a short take-off and landing (STOL) event, the aircraft made an approach to a grass strip at the left edge of Runway 18.

“G-CLYI, a tail wheel aircraft, was equipped with large bush wheels and a large propeller to enhance its STOL performance. The pilot stated that after touch down on the main wheels he applied gentle braking.”


However, as the pilot brought the plane to the surface things quickly went wrong for the 22-year-old pilot.

The investigation found at that point “the aircraft slowed to below 10 knots with the tail remaining off the ground, the wind shifted to a light tailwind, and the tail lifted further into the air.

“In response, he attempted to give 'a blip of throttle' to raise the nose, but without effect.

“As the tail lifted further into the air, the pilot reduced the throttle to idle and turned off the magnetos, at which point the propeller struck the ground.

“The aircraft tipped further onto its nose and then onto its back. The pilot turned off the electrics and fuel and exited the aircraft uninjured. The propeller, windscreen, struts and rudder were damaged.”

The report concluded that “it is likely the aircraft landed with a tailwind and that this, combined with the application of brakes while attempting to perform a landing in as short a distance as possible, caused the loss of control.

“Persons adjudicating the STOL event were positioned beyond the limit of the runway edge strip for Runway 18. However, the use of the grass strip eroded the effectiveness of the measures in place to assure suitable separation between persons and aircraft operating on it.

“The pilot stated that, as accountable manager, from the point that he went flying he had not exercised proper control of people on the ground, as he had not delegated his responsibilities during that time.”

Since then, the airfield has allegedly made changes to improve safety to avoid any repeat incidents.