Spitfire veers off runway and crashes into parked aircraft after landing in Yorkshire

A replica Spitfire veered off a runway and crashed into another aircraft at a Yorkshire airfield but investigators say it is “not clear what caused the loss of control”.

An image of the Spitfire Mk 26
An image of the Spitfire Mk 26

The experienced 65-year-old pilot escaped unharmed from the crash, which happened shortly after the plane landed at Breighton Airfield in Selby, at 2.55pm on April 22 in 2021.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report states the Spitfire Mk 26 bounced during a three-point landing and the tailwheel steering disengaged when the pilot “applied momentary full rudder”.

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The propeller and the left wing of the two-seat reduced scale replica of the original Spitfire fighter aircraft, which was built in 2019, were damaged in the crash. There were no passengers on board and no one in the parked aircraft.

The report states: “The pilot reported flying an approach to Breighton Airfield’s grass Runway 10 at an airspeed of 80 mph, with full flap selected, for a three-point landing.

“The aircraft bounced slightly as it touched down on the runway, then settled on all three wheels, initially straight ahead. Around 100 m into its landing roll, it veered right.

“The pilot applied opposite rudder and brake, and thereafter a 'burst of power' with the intention of increasing the rudder’s effectiveness. However, the aircraft left the runway and struck a parked aircraft.”

It adds: “It is not clear what caused the loss of control. Wheeler landings may be preferable on the type, and disengagement of the tailwheel steering during a bounced three-point landing could have been a factor.”