PKBWL report – Accident, UL-A. Fly Penquin 2.0 Fox (SP-STYL), Bielsko-Biała, 12/03/2022

On 12 March 2021 around midday, the two co-owners: pilot „K” and „M” were preparing their newly bought aircraft to the flying season. Since autumn 2021 the aircraft was stored in the hangar of local aeroclub. Taking advantage of the sunny weather, „K” and „M” were doing some works on aircraft systems. After refueling the aircraft with automotive gasoline, they both took seats in the cockpit: „K” on the left and „M” on the right and then they started up the engine. The systems were working correctly, therefore, the pilots decided for some ground accelerations on the grass runway to check – as per their statements – “wheel breaking action”. Satisfied with the results, after three runs they taxied to the apron in front of the hangar and switched their places: v“M” on the left seat (PIC seat) and „K” on the right one. As per the statement of pilot „K”, they were going to repeat the acceleration, but had no intention to fly.

They were reporting their intents via radio on the frequency of EPBA airfield.

The pilots taxied again to the threshold of RWY09: that time the pilot controlling the aircraft was „M”, the one on the left. As per „K” statement, the first run finished with „unexpected lift-off of the aircraft and its fast climb”. Pilot „K” stated also that none of them was planning to take-off. Having in mind a relatively short RWY 09 on EPBA (about 500 m), and with an intention to reduce the risk of landing „too close to the fence”, the pilots decided to continue climb and make a full aerodrome traffic circuit.

The flight was uneventful. Pilot „M” kept the speed approx. 120 kph., based on the readings of the airspeed indicator (ASI), and engine rpm about 5000. They made 2 or 3 left circles over the airfield and then made a left circuit to RWY09 flying west. The pilot made the third and then the fourth turns of aerodrome traffic circuit far enough to “prepare for landing” (as pilot stated). On final, the pilot „M” on the left communicated to his colleague his “inability to land”. So, the pilot „K”, on the right, took controls. The aircraft was approaching on long final: according to a reliable whiteness on the ground – on low altitude and slowly.
This has been partially confirmed by the pilot „K” who stated „we had a very flat glideslope”. This pilot also explained that he was trying to control the speed based on ASI and kept it in a range of 100 ÷ 110 kph. In a critical moment the speed decreased to 90 ÷ 100 kph. Being at the distance of approx. 120 m from the west aerodrome boundary and about 20÷30 m AGL, the aircraft gentle and then rapidly tilted to the right. Both pilots reacted immediately and set the full engine power. The aircraft lost its direction 90 deg. to the right and collided with the ground, turning additionally 135 deg. The engine stopped.

The pilot „K” suffered his head, left hand an both legs injuries, then unaided got out of the wreckage, walked around the aircraft nose and was trying to get his unconscious colleague out of the cockpit. Witnesses pulled out the pilot „K” further from the aircraft, managed to pull out „M” from the cockpit and administered them the first aid. In the same time the rescue services were notified: the firefighters came as first, then the ambulance and the Police. Both pilots were taken to hospital. The fire did not occur. 

The cause of the occurrence was the pilot’s error. He stalled the aircraft on final approach and entered an unintentional spin, which none of the pilots was able to prevent.

Factors contributing to the occurrence:
1) Lack of experience of both pilots on the type of the accident aircraft;
2) Long break in flights, lack of training;
3) Exceeded maximum take-off mass;
4) Improper, too flat approach to landing;
5) Incorrect ASI readings;
6) Improper maintenance of the aircraft.

PKBWL has not proposed any safety recommendations.

Read the report.

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