A pilot narrowly avoided hitting a person and buildings after his plane “suddenly veered” during take-off before crashing.

It happened at Plaistows Airfield in Chiswell Green Lane near Bedmond and left the plane "destroyed".

The Kolb Twinstar Mk III aircraft was leaving the airfield at 12.30pm on January 30 2022 when the 60-year-old pilot lost control, an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report published today (November 10) said.

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During take-off, the plane was seen by a witness to “suddenly veer to the right” and “climb very slowly”, just missing them, a hangar, power cables and a farm building.

At approximately 100 feet above ground level, the plane’s engine stopped and the aircraft hit the ground within the airfield.

The witness said they recalled seeing the plane’s propeller stationary before descending “steeply”.

The pilot was able to get out of the plane himself but he sustained back injuries.

Watford Observer: A map of Plaistows AirfieldA map of Plaistows Airfield (Image: Google Maps)

The crash left the plane beyond repair. The left-wing tip was damaged and there was a significant bend in the right wing.

The right landing gear had detached and the front of the fuselage was “disrupted”, while the tail boom was bent to the right. A control rod also detached with the right wing striking the ground.

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After the crash, the pilot reported he had been “unable to control the plane due to a control restriction” on the aircraft.

The AAIB investigation said “no evidence” of a control restriction was found and it is considered that flight just above the stall speed – which is the minimum steady flight speed at which the airplane is controllable - was the “probable cause” of the control issues.

The report stated: “It was considered the most likely cause of the loss of control after take-off was low airspeed resulting in poor flying control response and an inability to counteract the effect of the crosswind.

“The engine stoppage was probably caused by the aft cylinder overheating although no cause could be found for the overheating.”

The AAIB also added it could not rule out a loose item in the cockpit may have restricted the controls.

Describing the general condition of the light private aircraft as “poor”, the AAIB says it is reminding owners of aircraft with one seat of their legal responsibilities to comply with the Air Navigation Order.

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