An Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report into an incident that saw a plane crash into the Solent has concluded that a fuel leak may have been to blame.
It was on 31st May last year that the Cirrus SR22 light aircraft – registration G-CTAM – started to run roughly and subsequently lost power whilst flying north of the Isle of Wight. The pilot turned the aircraft parallel to the shore and deployed the aircraft’s Ballistic Parachute Recovery System.
The parachute descent was successful and the aircraft landed in the sea just off Calshot Spit. Both occupants escaped from the aircraft uninjured, as previously reported by Island Echo.
According to the AAIB report published today (Friday), the aircraft suffered a loss of power, probably due to fuel starvation, but the cause of the fuel starvation could not be determined.
Investigators say it is possible that 1 fuel tank ran dry and that the engine did not fully recover when the fuel tank was switched because the fuel pump had not been set to boost and the pilot had not kept this tank selected for long enough. However, the possibility of a fuel leak causing both tanks to run dry could not be ruled out.
The investigation has highlighted the importance of setting the fuel pump switch to boost when changing fuel tanks; checking the fuel gauges for fuel quantity and any imbalance; and ensuring the serviceability of the fuel indication system
You can read the report here.