Vintage Tiger Moth plane flipped upside down in Netherthorpe airfield, report reveals

A Tiger Moth plane similar to the one involved in the incident
A Tiger Moth plane similar to the one involved in the incident

A vintage Tiger Moth plane flipped upside as it crash-landed in a South Yorkshire field, an investigation report has revealed.

The 1939-built plane ended upside down in a field near Netherthorpe airfield, between Rotherham and Worksop, after getting into difficulties earlier this year as it tried to take off.

A newly-published bulletin report by the Air Accidents Investigations Branch said that, although the aircraft was badly damaged, the pilot and the passenger he was taking for the pleasure flight escaped unhurt.

The incident happened on Thursday, April 16, at about lunchtime.

The 29-year-old pilot, who had more than 1,000 hours of flying experience, indicated the accident could have been caused by, among other things, by a slight reduction in engine power, calm wind conditions and the short runway at Netherthorpe.

The report said the aircraft, which was being used for a pleasure flight, had flown six times.

It said: “The aircraft had full fuel and was just below its maximum takeoff weight.

“After lift off, the pilot found he was unable to climb out of ground effect and decided to land in a field of crops. During the subsequent landing, the aircraft flipped.

“The pilot believes a slight reduction in available power, coupled with calm wind conditions and the short runways at Netherthorpe, contributed to the accident.”

The report said that, after difficulties lifting off, the pilot was aware the aircraft was sinking and there were buildings and hedgerows close by. He decided to put the aircraft down in an oilseed rape field.

It said:“He touched down in the field, but was still applying left bank to steer the aircraft away from a hedgerow. The left lower wingtip brushed the crop and then the ground. In trying to straighten up, the right lower wingtip and the main landing gear struck the ground, causing the aircraft to flip at a speed the pilot estimates to have been about 35 knots.

“The passenger left the plane first, followed by the pilot.”

The aircraft suffered severe damage to its lower right wing, fin and propeller.

A full report into the crash will be published at a later date.