ICE forming in the carburettor has been identified in an official aircrash report as a possible cause of a light aircraft crash near Beeston Castle, Taporley, on 14 December last year.
The 64-year-old pilot of the Rand KR-2 aircraft – reg G DGWW – owned by William Wilson of 3, Lawnsdale, Cuddington, Northwich, escaped from the crash with minor injuries but the 1992 built aircraft was extensively damaged.
An official Air Accident Investigation Branch report just published into the incident fails to identify a definite cause of the engine failure which led to the crash. However, it indicates that there was a “serious risk” of ‘carburettor icing’ – a common and recognised problem with many light aircraft – on the day of the crash.
The report says the owner of the aircraft had been flown it uneventfully for around 40 minutes prior to the crash flight and had then briefed the pilot, who was about to fly that type of aircraft for the first time.
As part of the briefing, the owner mentioned that he had experienced some carburettor icing during his flight.
The aircraft was then refueled and took off from Liverpool (John Lennon) Airport, with the pilot intending to initially to assess the general handling characteristics of the aircraft.
However, the report says that during the flight and at a height of around 700 feet the engine stopped.
It continues : “The pilot carried out a forced landing, but as the aircraft approached the selected field, it clipped the top of a row of trees, causing the aircraft to pitch over and crash-land, coming to rest inverted just beyond the trees.
“The aircraft was extensively damaged but, due to his harness and local strengthening of the aircraft’s structure, the pilot sustained only minor injuries. The weather at the time of the flight was such that there was a serious risk carburettor icing at any power setting.”