Bird strike Accident Best Off Skyranger Swift 912(1) G-CJXF, Monday 25 September 2023
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Date:Monday 25 September 2023
Time:10:12 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic SKRA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Best Off Skyranger Swift 912(1)
Registration: G-CJXF
Year of manufacture:2017
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Isle of Wight Lane, Kensworth, Dunstable, Bedfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Sky Ranger Swift 912(1) G-CJXF suffere a bird strike on takeoff leading to a forced landing 1nm south of Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

The pilot was taking off from a large field approximately 1 nautical mile south of Dunstable. Shortly after becoming airborne, he saw a heron flying on an intercepting course. He was expecting the bird to change course, but when it became obvious, they were about to collide, the pilot banked the aircraft to the left to avoid it. He estimated that the heron missed the aircraft’s windscreen by 100 mm, but as the heron passed over the windscreen, he heard another bird hit the propeller.

The engine coughed for a few seconds but continued to run. However, he realised the loss of power meant he was not going to clear the trees ahead. He turned slightly to the right to avoid the tallest trees and focused on maintaining airspeed. Just prior to contact with bushes he switched off the engine. The aircraft settled into the hedgerow. The pilot was not injured and was able to exit the aircraft via a ladder

After the accident the pilot found the remains of a pigeon in the field and blood on the propeller. Several days after the accident the pilot discovered that a fountain in an adjacent pond was on a timer and it had switched on at approximately the same time he had been taking off. He believed the noise from the fountain had scared the birds and caused them to take flight just as he was taking off.

=AAIB Conclusion=
The aircraft collided with a bird shortly after takeoff, resulting in a loss of power. When the pilot realised, he was not going to clear the tree line ahead, he maintained airspeed, steered the aircraft away from the tallest trees, switched off the engine and flew the aircraft in a controlled flight into the hedges.

It is likely that pre-planning and rehearsing his actions in the event of an engine failure helped the pilot to resolve the emergency with minimal damage and no injuries".

=Damage to airframe=
Per the AAIB Report "Propeller damage and minor damage to fabric skin"

Aircraft presumed repaired and returned to service, as the AirNav RadarBox website (see link #6) records G-CJXF flying from Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire (EGBW) to Turweston, Buckinghamshire (EGBT) on 6.11.2023, some six weeks later.

Kensworth is a village and civil parish located in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. The parish is located on the edge of Dunstable Downs, and includes the hamlets of California and Kensworth Lynch.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: AAIB-29612
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB Final Report dated 11.1.2024:



G-CJXF Best Off SkyRanger Swift 912(1) at Popham, Hampshire 5.5.2018 G-CJXF (41363308484)

Revision history:

25-Sep-2023 21:22 Geno Added
26-Sep-2023 06:06 harro Updated
26-Sep-2023 07:04 Aerossurance Updated
28-Sep-2023 15:48 Dr. John Smith Updated
28-Sep-2023 15:49 harro Updated
12-Jan-2024 09:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
12-Jan-2024 09:22 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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