An Air Accident Investigation Branch report, released recently, said what caused the engine of an Albatross DV replica German fighter warplane to crash in September last year, hasn’t been determined.
The pilot was returning from France to Headcorn Aerodrome when he was forced to land. On his approach to land, he clipped a hedgerow which flipped the aircraft upside down before it crashed between Bethersden and Pluckley. The 69-year-old pilot had sent a radio message that the engine had started to ‘run rough’ before it quit. He escaped without injury.
The New Zealand-made replica was loaned to a UK company to perform in historical displays and was originally made in 2015.
The report noted that there had been an incident with the aircraft three flights before which resulted in it needing a new propeller. The report also examined why the six-cylinder, liquid-cooled Mercedes engine failed while in flight.
It said the pilot reported that sufficient fuel was in the tanks following the accident and fuel and water and fuel pressure indications were normal throughout the flight. The replacement propeller and the aircraft were returned to flight after consultations with the manufacturer, Kent Online reported.
The aircraft will be returned to New Zealand for further examination.