Accident Micro Aviation B22J Bantam ZU-FMV, Wednesday 15 November 2023
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Date:Wednesday 15 November 2023
Time:05:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic bant model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Micro Aviation B22J Bantam
Registration: ZU-FMV
MSN: 11-0349
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Rietvlei in the Karoo National Park, Western Cape Province -   South Africa
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Grantham Private Airfield
Destination airport:Grantham Private Airfield
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On 15 November 2023 at 0500Z, a pilot and a passenger on-board a Bantam B22J microlight took off from Grantham private airfield in the Western Cape province with the intention to fly overhead the Karoo National Park in search of rhinoceroses on the eastern side of the park before returning to the same take-off airfield. The private flight was conducted under visual meteorological conditions (VMC) by day and under the provisions of Part 94 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) 2011 as amended.

According to the pilot, he conducted the pre-flight inspection on the same morning. The microlight had approximately 40 litres (L) of 95 Octane fuel. The maximum fuel capacity for this aircraft is 50 L.
The pilot stated that clear weather conditions prevailed at the time of the flight and the wind was calm. After the pre-flight inspection, the aircraft took off and routed towards the eastern side of the park, flying between 100 and 150 feet (ft) above ground level (AGL). During the flight, the park ranger called on the radio and requested that the microlight route north of Rietvlei, located inside the Karoo National Park, to identify a rhinoceros that was sedated. Upon arrival at Rietvlei, the pilot identified an open area that was previously used as a landing zone. The pilot flew overhead the landing zone about three times to assess its condition. The identified landing area was rocky. Thereafter, the pilot configured the aircraft for landing with full flaps at an indicated airspeed (IAS) of approximately 45 to 50 knots (kt). During the landing roll, the nose gear broke off, which resulted in the aircraft nosing over; it rested in an inverted position. Both occupants were not injured.

On the same day after the accident, a thunderstorm in the area caused further damage to the aircraft after being blown by strong winds about 200 metres from where it had initially rested.

Probable Cause(s)
During landing in an area that was not authorised for take-offs and landings, the nose gear broke off which cause the aircraft to nose over.

Contributing Factor(s)
Failure to adhere to the regulatory and manufacturer's prescripts.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: CA18/2/3/10394
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

25-Mar-2024 06:56 ASN Added
25-Mar-2024 06:57 ASN Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Narrative]

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