Plane’s nose and propeller fell off after crash: report

The nose and rotating propeller of a light aircraft that crash- landed in February in Co Limerick fell off after it hit the ground.

Details of the incident were published in a report yesterday by the Irish Air Accident and Investigation Unit.

“The aircraft’s nose wheel dug into the soft ground, collapsed and separated. As the aircraft pitched nose down, the rotating propeller made contact with the soft ground and one blade detached. The aircraft’s nose came to rest on the engine cowling,” the report stated.

The crash landing occurred on February 14 this year as the two-man single propeller aircraft touched down at Coonagh Airfield.

The pilot aged 36, and the passenger were not injured.

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The report stated that, following a routine landing, and while the aircraft was decelerating to a slow speed on the runway, the pilot experienced difficulty in maintaining directional control.

The aircraft — a Tecnam two-seater side by side, low wing aircraft powered by a four-cylinder four-stroke engine — slowly veered to the left side of the runway and crashed into the grass verge.

Prior to the incident, the pilot had completed about 50 minutes flying, which included two uneventful landings at the airfield. The airfield emergency service arrived on-scene within one minute, the report stated.

A subsequent examination of the separated nose wheel determined that the tyre and tread were in good condition, but the tyre had deflated and the bead had slipped inward on the wheel rim.

The report concluded that the aircraft’s three tyres were serviceable during a pre-flight inspection and it is likely the nose wheel tyre deflated sometime during the latter stages of the flight or during the final landing/rollout manoeuvre.

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