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Cause of Tiger Moth plane crash in Postling near Hythe which killed pilot revealed

The plane crash which killed a man in Postling near Hythe was caused by the pilot doing a steeply banked turn which resulted in the aircraft striking a crop field.

The crash happened a short distance from Pent Farm Airfield, on Sunday, July 21, last year.

Postling Plane crash. Picture: Paul Amos
Postling Plane crash. Picture: Paul Amos

The mechanic and pilot, Peter Winters, 51, from Belgium, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The yellow Tiger Moth he was flying in came down about 2pm, sparking a huge emergency response including police, air ambulance and fire crews.

An inquest into his death, which was held at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone, revealed he suffered multiple injuries.

There was one passenger in his light aircraft, a man in his 40s, who suffered serious injuries, but survived.

The crash was investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, who later removed the wreckage from the field in the remote village.

The Tiger Moth crashed in July last year killing Peter Winter. Picture: Air Accidents Investigation Branch
The Tiger Moth crashed in July last year killing Peter Winter. Picture: Air Accidents Investigation Branch

The investigators have published their findings and say Mr Winters, a professional pilot and owner of the Tiger Moth, were carrying out a familiarisation flight in the aircraft.

The report found Mr Winter occupied the front cockpit with his passenger in the rear cockpit, when the accident happened.

The accident investigator's report said: "They completed a first sortie, which comprised general handling and circuits followed by a short break.

"They agreed to do some more circuits with the passenger flying the aircraft.

"After the first landing, the owner took control and performed a rolling take-off and made an early right turn, estimated by the passenger to be at about 20-30 ft agl.

"The passenger noticed that the aircraft was becoming increasingly cross-controlled with full right rudder and left control stick, which resulted in the aircraft rolling into a steeply banked turn to the right and striking the surface of a crop field in a steep nosedown attitude."

Mr Winter who was in the front cockpit, was fatally injured and his passenger was seriously injured but able to release himself from the wreckage and drag himself clear.

The report added: "The accident occurred because the increasing amount of right rudder was not reduced and left roll control stick reached the limit of its travel causing the aircraft to enter a descending, steepening turn to the right, and possibly to enter an incipient spin, before striking the ground.

"The reason for the loss of control was not determined, but the possibility that the pilot became incapacitated could not be excluded."

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