Spitfire pilot 'pulled wrong lever' to crash after landing
Friday 10 May 2013
A Second World War Spitfire crashed after landing when its pilot pulled the wrong lever, an accident report has concluded.
The plane had successfully landed at East Midlands Airport and was taxiing off the runway when the experienced 46-year-old male flyer selected the handle to retract the landing gear, bringing the wheels up and ditching the aircraft on the ground.
The pilot's error on January 7 this year shut the runway in Derbyshire for more than two hours, with flights having to be diverted or delayed.
A report bulletin to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) read: "The pilot stated that he had intended to retract the flaps but inadvertently selected the undercarriage to the 'up' position.
"However, the handles for each mechanism are on opposite sides of the cockpit."
The pilot had more than 9,200 hours' flying experience, of which 89 hours were in this type of plane, according to the report.
The wooden propellor on the 1945-built Mark XIX aircraft shattered as the plane grounded, with the crash also damaging the left wing and parts of the engine housing.
Unlike modern aircraft, there is no fail-safe switch preventing the undercarriage wheels from being retracted once the aircraft has landed.
The plane, owned by Rolls-Royce and based at the airport, was flown in the war on reconnaissance missions but has more recently taken part in aerial displays.
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...