Bournemouth Air Festival: Wingwalker crash investigation improved


INVESTIGATIONS into the wingwalker plane crash at this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival have been stepped up after the first evidence was gathered.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed to the Daily Echo that it had shifted its investigations from a correspondence investigation to an on-the-ground investigation.

The first would have seen a report published within months. However, the change in the type of investigation means it could take up to a year after the incident for the AAIB to share its findings.

An AAIB spokeswoman said: “The first evidence gathered determined that this accident warrants further investigation and it has since gone from a correspondence investigation to a field investigation.”

Aerosuperbatics, which is based at Rendcomb Airfield in Cirencester, said the plane was ditched in the water near Sandbanks during a Bournemouth Air Festival exhibit following “technical difficulties “.

Air festival performances were suspended for the remainder of the day but resumed on Sunday.

Bournemouth Echo: The biplane gave up in Poole Harbor.  Photo: John ThackerThe biplane abandoned in Poole Harbor. Photo: John Thacker

Following the crash, AeroSuperBatics issued a statement which read: “On Saturday 4th September one of our planes encountered technical difficulties during an aerial demonstration at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

“Unfortunately, the aircraft was unable to maintain altitude and despite very difficult circumstances a successful water landing was carried out in Poole Harbor. The pilot (David Barrell) and wingwalker (Kirsten Pobjoy) suffered injuries. minor injuries, received medical attention at Poole Hospital and were released shortly thereafter.

AAIB field investigations involve a small team of inspectors selected from the organization’s four main disciplines (operations, engineering, recorded data, and human factors) visiting the incident site or location. aircraft following a serious incident.

Inspectors will collect physical evidence of the aircraft as well as details of training records, flight plans, logbooks or maintenance records during the site phase.

Bournemouth Echo: A plane rose from the sea in the Sandbanks area of ​​Poole Harbor after crashing into the sea on Saturday afternoon during the Bournemouth Air Festival.  Photo date: Sunday, September 5, 2021.

In light aircraft crashes, inspectors pick up electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and GPS devices as they can provide useful information about what has happened. More detailed investigations will follow, usually from the AAIB base in Farnborough.

Once the evidence has been analyzed, conclusions drawn and safety recommendations made, a draft report is subject to internal reviews with the AAIB and consultations before publication.

The Daily Echo has contacted AeroSuperBatics to comment on the AAIB investigation.

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