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Accident description
Last updated: 19 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 17 October 2007
Time:19:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A-21 Islander
Operator:Auxiliar de Actividades Aérea
Registration: G-CHES
C/n / msn: 2011
First flight: 1977-08-24 (30 years 2 months)
Total airframe hrs:8500
Cycles:8900
Engines: 2 Lycoming IO-540-K1B5
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Guadalcanal-Los Tomillares Airstrip (   Spain)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Guadalcanal-Los Tomillares Airstrip, Spain
Destination airport:Guadalcanal Airstrip, Spain
Narrative:
The Britten Norman Islander aircraft, registration G-CHES, had flown on the morning of 17 October 2007 over various points of the Sierra Morena and the north part of the province of Seville in Spain. Its mission had been to scout the various flight fields which would be available to the aircraft in future operations. The purpose of that day's flight was to land at a temporary runway in the town of Guadalcanal. This runway, used by airplanes on agricultural flights, is some five kilometers SW of the town. The pilot, however, mistakenly landed at another temporary field, with the same bearing and approximately halfway between the town and the other runway on Guadalcanal. The runway on which it landed, called Los Tomillares (after the name of the ranch on which it is located), is considerably shorter.
The distance available was sufficient for the airplane's sole pilot to land normally. In order to be able to depart from that strip, which measured only 400 m in length, the pilot telephoned for help and guidance in order to make the short four-kilometer flight from that strip to the runway in Guadalcanal, his original destination.
In response to his call for help, a pilot with experience on that type of airplane reported to the strip early in the afternoon and joined the pilot as a crew advisor on the aircraft in order to aid the pilot in command. Two other persons on the ground provided assistance loading fuel in the main tanks. The gasoline was taken to the aerodrome in 50-liter plastic drums, which were placed inside the aircraft once emptied, since they were operating between runways in which there was no refueling service. A total of 250 liters of AV100LL fuel was deposited in the main tanks.
Both pilots walked the length of the field at Los Tomillares to check its condition and dimensions. They determined its length by counting their steps. They also determined its gradient. Although the surface was made of uncompacted dirt, they calculated that it was sufficient for takeoff, which they decided to do toward the southeast to take advantage of the favorable negative slope. Specifically, they planned to depart on a SE heading, turn 90° right, and continue flying south until they were lined up with the Guadalcanal runway. They planned to land on a NW course. They postponed the operation until late in the afternoon, before sunset, so as to avoid glare from the setting sun while landing at Guadalcanal.
According to eyewitness accounts, the pilot in command did the pre-flight check and dismissed the ground assistants, who left before the airplane took off. A few minutes later, at 19:30, half an hour prior to sunset, the aircraft headed for the runway threshold. Shortly thereafter it started its takeoff, gaining speed and becoming airborne prior to reaching the opposite threshold. The right engine then started to fail partially, causing the airplane to yaw hard to the right. The pilot in command, seated to the left, was flying the airplane. According to the statement of the accompanying pilot, who was seated in the RH seat, when the engine failed, the pilot asked him to take the flight controls while he attempted to restore power to the right engine.
After lowering the nose, they started to descend slightly, managing to correct the right yaw by applying left rudder. They had practically managed to regain directional control of the aircraft when the right engine started to run at full power once more, propelling the aircraft, which caused it to veer left, toward higher ground. They were unable to avoid the impact.
The aircraft's left wingtip impacted first, hitting some bushes on the hillside. A few meters later the left gear wheel made contact. After crossing a small river bed, the aircraft's left wing and forward fuselage impacted, with the airplane coming to a stop after traveling along the ground for a few meters.
The impact site was on the runway centerline extension and some 400 m from the southeast threshold, which they had overflown a few seconds earlier when taking off.
The aircraft was seriously damaged and was essentially destroyed. There was no fire after the impact.

Probable Cause:

Causes:
It is believed that the fault and abnormal operation of the right engine was probably caused by the presence of water in the fuel being supplied to it. This water could have come from condensation inside the tanks that was not properly drained when the
airplane was serviced. Alternatively, the water could have come from the jugs that were used to transport the fuel prior to the refueling in the field.
The cause behind the airplane’s loss of lateral control and its ability to climb was probably the result of the oscillating condition of the high asymmetric drag as the stationary propeller, and the counteracting forces being applied by the rudder, were
suddenly and immediately replaced by a condition of high symmetric thrust with the left rudder pedal still fully depressed.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 5 months
Accident number: A-044/2007
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Fuel contamination
Loss of control

Photos

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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
24 AUG 1977 G-BEXA first flight
24 AUG 1977 N3835Z Fairoaks Aviation Services
ZB503 RAF Parachute Association
G-DIVE RAF Parachute Association
15 JUL 1985 G-MALI Malinair Ltd.
02 NOV 1987 G-BEXA Air Furness
G-DIVE Britten-Norman
27 JUL 1988 G-BPCB Air & General Services
06 MAR 1989 G-PASY Medical Aviation Services Ltd.
01 MAR 1994 G-PASY Cheshire Police Authority
19 APR 1994 G-CHES The Cheshire Constabulary
G-CHES Cheshire Police Authority
31 OCT 2001 G-CHES Cormack (Aircraft Services) Ltd.
24 JAN 2002 EI-IPC Irish Parachute Club
16 MAY 2007 G-CHES Cormack (Aircraft Services) Ltd.

» source: Werner Fischdick

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Guadalcanal-Los Tomillares Airstrip to Guadalcanal Airstrip as the crow flies is 3 km (2 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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