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Toilet call distracted pilot who crashed

A 71-year-old light aircraft pilot almost paid the ultimate price for wanting to spend a penny.

Having eaten a light meal and downed two mugs of tea, the pilot took off from Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire, a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.

After 45 minutes he decided he might need a 'toilet call' but had already passed three landing sites.

He considered landing at Breighton airfield in North Yorkshire but decided to continue on to Rufforth, only 15 minutes further away.

The AAIB report said the pilot came in to land at Rufforth "with the toilet call still on his mind".

He was lining the plane up and then "remembered nothing else until he was crawling out of the aircraft".

Witnesses saw the aircraft clip a tree at about 50ft on final approach and "nosedive" into the ground, damaging a wing and the landing gear. The pilot was taken to hospital with head and wrist injuries.

The report said: "The pilot commented in his frank report that he considered a major causal factor in the accident to be that he allowed his need for a toilet call to blur his concentration during the final approach."

hnews@herald.ie


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