Earlier in the month, the BBC reported the results of an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report about a fatal microlight accident last April in Clackmannanshire. According to eyewitnesses, the 23-year-old Gemini Flash microlight entered into a steep climb shortly after take-off and then the nose dropped suddenly before it struck the ground – killing the pilot. The accident investigation revealed that:
- The microlight was not registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and had not been inspected by the agency for three years but it appeared that nothing had malfunctioned at the time of the crash.
- CAA records showed a “No Flight” declaration was made on the microlight back in February 2011. That usually occurs when an aircraft is not insured and the owner has declared it will not be flown until evidence of insurance is produced.
- The pilot was not a member of a microlight club, there were no records of him attending any formal flying lessons and did not have a medical declaration.
In other words, it appears that a “pilot” was attempting a solo flight without undertaking the required flight training as no doubt he must have thought that flying was just like driving a vehicle or sailing a boat.
Gordon Douglas, the chief flying instructor and owner of East of Scotland Microlights, a microlight flight training school based at the East Fortune Airfield in East Lothian, had told the Daily Mail at the time the accident occurred that microlight accidents were “very rare.” However, anyone wishing to fly one in the UK still must have a proper pilot’s licence (along with some commonsense).