aeroplanejpeg (1)

An aircraft struck an HGV as it came in to land at an airfield in Somerset, according to a crash investigation.

The light aircraft, a Vans RV-9A (see pic) was approaching Henstridge airfield at Templecombe in March when its right wingtip struck the rear of the lorry's trailer, around four metres above the ground.

It flipped onto its roof and its canopy broke, but according to a report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), a roll bar behind the aircraft seats kept the cockpit off the ground, protecting the two occupants.

The AAIB said a car following the HGV stopped and the motorist assisted the pilot and the passenger to escape the wreckage.

The 81-year-old pilot sustained only minor injuries and the passenger sustained a broken wrist.

According to the AAIB, the road crossing the runway’s undershoot leads to an industrial site and sees a significant amount of traffic, including around 300 HGV movements per day.

“The road converged with the runway centreline at a shallow angle and this, combined with the low wing configuration of the aircraft, meant it was unlikely the pilot would have been able to see the HGV during the approach,” it said.

“As the aircraft crossed the road the pilot saw the HGV very close and had no time to take avoiding action.”

The AAIB added that the airfield operator had now moved the touchdown point further along the runway, so that aircraft on a standard approach would be higher when crossing the road.