Accident CZAW SportCruiser G-OCRZ, Wednesday 13 April 2016
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Date:Wednesday 13 April 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CZAW SportCruiser
Registration: G-OCRZ
MSN: PFA338-14668
Year of manufacture:2008
Engine model:Rotax 912 ULS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Firs Farm Airfield, Firs Farm, Leckhampstead, Newbury, Berkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Firs Farm Airfield, Firs Farm, Leckhampstead, Newbury, Berkshire
Destination airport:Firs Farm Airfield, Firs Farm, Leckhampstead, Newbury, Berkshire
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Substantially damaged 13 April 2016 in a landing accident at Firs Farm Airfield, Firs Farm, Leckhampstead, near Newbury, Berkshire. The pilot misidentified the runway and flew an approach to an adjacent, visually distinct but uncultivated strip of rough ground. He realised his mistake on touchdown, when the nose leg collapsed and the propeller struck the ground. The aircraft came to a halt nose-down and left wing low but the pilot vacated without difficulty. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The pilot returned to land at his home airstrip after a short, middle-of-the-day flight. He was very familiar with this airstrip, having operated from it for six years. Visibility was good and there was a light south-westerly breeze as he joined the circuit, intending to land on grass Runway 23.

He lined-up his final approach on a yellowish coloured strip of land, which he identified as the runway, and touched down in an apparently “perfect” manner. However, the landing was made on a rough, uncultivated strip of ground adjacent to the south side of the runway which the pilot had mistaken for Runway 23.

The nose leg immediately collapsed and detached, and the propeller struck the ground. As the aircraft slowed, the left main landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came to a halt with its nose and left wing resting on the ground. The pilot turned the master switch OFF and vacated the aircraft without difficulty."

=Pilot’s comments=
The pilot was amazed that he had misidentified the runway in good weather and without any distraction. He noted the runway was a similar colour to the adjacent green crop on the north side, while the rough strip on the south side was a contrasting, yellowish colour, shaped like a runway. At first sight it looked like a runway, so, even though he had prior knowledge of its existence, he accepted it was the runway.

During the circuit and approach the pilot concentrated on making a smooth landing and had no reason to query the strip for which he was aiming. He did not spot the real runway to the right of his approach path because he was not expecting to see it there; an error which he later recognised as confirmation bias

=Safety action=
White markers are now in place to make the runway outline more obvious to approaching aircraft

=Damage sustained to airframe=
Per the AAIB report "Nose leg detached, left main landing gear damaged and propeller destroyed". The aircraft was repaired and returned to service

Firs Farm Airfield is just South South-East of Leckhampstead, West of the B4494, about 5 nautical miles West North-West of Newbury, Berkshire. The sole runway is grass, orientated 05/23, and 560 metres long.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/G2016/04/05
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:

History of this aircraft

This CZAW SportCruiser was built in 2008, and was first UK registered as G-OCRZ to its one and only owner (to date) on 3 March 2008. Firs Farm Airfield has been the home base of G-OCRZ since 2013



CZAW SportCruiser G-OCRZ at Luxembourg-Findel - ELLX, Luxembourg 28 May 2011: CZAW SportCruiser, Private JP7125971

Revision history:

14-Jul-2016 15:56 Dr.John Smith Added
14-Jul-2016 16:07 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
06-May-2024 09:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative, Category]

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