Bilsborrow runway blamed for horror crash

A stock image of a microlight
A stock image of a microlight

​​An uneven runway surface has been blamed for a horror microlight crash landing in which a 76-year-old pilot and his passenger were both seriously injured.

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The tiny 2006 built Quik microlight – reg G CECA – owned by Alan Weatherall of Alston Lane, Alston, near Longridge, had completed a local flight.

It had returned to land at St Michael’s Airfield in Bilsborrow, near Garstang, ​in the early evening of May 7 this year. The pilot has not been named, but it is believed to have been Mr Weatherall.

Conditions were calm but a newly published Air Accident Investigation Branch report says that as the microlight touched down an “undulation in the runway” caused it to bounce and become airborne again.

When it touched down again the pilot, who had 708 hours flying experience, decided there was not enough runway left on which to stop so he applied his engine power in order to take off and go round for a second landing approach.

However, the report says there were two earth bunds bordering a stream that runs across the end of the grass runway and continues: “The aircraft gradually climbed, but failed to gain sufficient height and struck the bund at the end of the runway, causing the pilot to lose control.

“The aircraft then impacted the bund on the other side of the stream before coming to a stop. The pilot and passenger were both seriously injured.”

A spokesman for the airfield, home to the NorthernMicrolight School, did not wish to comment on the investigation.