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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 33214
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Date:17-MAR-1990
Time:08:39
Type:Silhouette image of generic C77R model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna F177RG Cardinal RG (Reims)
Owner/operator:Facet Group Holdings Ltd
Registration: G-BFHK
MSN: 0162
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, In sea 15 nm SE of Ramsgate, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Ostend, Belguim (OST/EBOS)
Destination airport:Manston Kent (MSE/EGMH)
Narrative:
Written off 17-03-1990 when ditched into the English Channel. 15 nautical miles south east of Ramsgate, Kent, due to engine failure. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"...about 20 nautical miles out from Ostend at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the pilot noticed a slight loss of power, rising oil temperature, falling oil pressure, and a higher than normal EGT. Following contact with Kent Radar, he reduced power, returned the mixture control to RICH, opened the cowling flaps, and began a long descent to 2,500 feet.

Pressures and temperatures then returned to normal and at 2,500 feet, the pilot set course to divert to Manston at a reduced power setting. Following an inquiry from ATC, the pilot confirmed that he was declaring an emergency. Although pressures and temperatures remained normal, the engine continued to lose power. The pilot tried various changes in the settings in the throttle, mixture and fuel pump, but no improvement was achieved, and the aircraft continued to descend from 2,500 feet, until the pilot was forced to ditch the aircraft into the sea at a position 15 nautical miles south east of Ramsgate.

The ditching, which took place at 08:39 hours UTC, and was parallel to the wave crests. The ditching was smooth, and the aircraft impacted the water with the wheels up, full flap selected, and the aircraft close to the stall. The pilot was wearing a life jacket, but was unable to retrieve the dinghy from the aircraft before it sank. Search and Rescue Services had already been alerted, and another light aircraft in the area was vectored to locate the pilot in the water, with the result that the pilot was located and retrieved in just under half an hour, at 09:04 UTC. The aircraft sank and was not recovered."

A contemporary local newspaper report gives further details and names the pilot ("Staffordshire Sentinel - Saturday 17 March 1990):

"Pilot saved
A PILOT was winched from the water by helicopter today after his single-seater light aircraft ditched in the English Channel. Mr David Hudson, 48, who climbed out of the Cessna 177 before it sank 15 miles south of Ramsgate, Kent, was taken to hospital suffering from exposure."

Damage to airframe: Per the AAIB report "aircraft lost at sea". Since the airframe sank and was not recovered, the exact damage sustained (presumably to the engine) is not known. As a result of this aircraft's ditching, the registration G-BFHK was cancelled by the CAA, but not until three years later, on 20-05-1993 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"

Sources:

1. Staffordshire Sentinel - Saturday 17 March 1990
2. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422ee7b40f0b61346000229/Reims_Cessna_F177RG__G-BFHK_10-90.pdf
3. CAA - Registration data 1978-1983: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-BFHK.pdf
4. CAA - Registration data 1984-1990: https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.windows.net/g-info/HistoricalLedger/G-BFHK-2.pdf
5. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17576.0
6. G-BFHK at Staverton, Gloucestershire (EGBJ) on 22-04-1982: https://www.flickr.com/photos/egbj/49705697541
7. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/G-BFHK


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
15-Sep-2011 09:46 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Phase, Nature, Damage]
01-Sep-2012 11:03 Uli Elch Updated [Cn, Source, Damage, Narrative]
12-Feb-2016 11:03 Dr.John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Feb-2016 11:14 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
12-Feb-2016 11:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
12-Feb-2016 11:18 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 21:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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