Date & Time: Jun 26, 2018 at 1420 LT
Type of aircraft:
Cessna 414 Chancellor
Flight Phase:
Takeoff (climb)
Flight Type:
Crew on board:
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
Captain / Total flying hours:
Captain / Total hours on type:
The aircraft departed Dunkeswell Airfield on the morning of the accident for a flight to Retford (Gamston) Airfield with three passengers on board, two of whom held flying licences. The passengers all reported that the flight was uneventful and after spending an hour on the ground the aircraft departed with two passengers for Enstone Airfield. This flight was also flown without incident.The pilot reported that before departing Enstone he visually checked the level in the aircraft fuel tanks and there was 390 ltr (103 US gal) on board, approximately half of which was in the wingtip fuel tanks. After spending approximately one hour on the ground the pilot was heard to carry out his power checks before taxiing to the threshold of Runway 08 for a flight back to Dunkeswell with one passenger onboard). During the takeoff run the left engine was heard to stop and the aircraft veered to the left as it came to a halt. The pilot later recalled that he had seen birds in the climbout area and this was a factor in the abandoned takeoff. The aircraft was then seen to taxi to an area outside the Oxfordshire Sport Flying Club, where the pilot attempted to start the left engine, during which time the right engine also stopped. The right engine was restarted, and several attempts appeared to have been made to start the left engine, which spluttered into life before stopping again. Eventually the left engine started, blowing out clouds of white and black smoke. After the left engine was running smoothly the pilot was seen to taxi to the threshold for Runway 08. The takeoff run sounded normal and the landing gear was seen to retract at a height of approximately 200 ft agl. The climbout was captured on a video recording taken by an individual standing next to the disused runway, approximately 400 m to the south of Runway 08. The aircraft was initially captured while it was making a climbing turn to the right and after 10 seconds the wings levelled, the aircraft descended and disappeared behind a tree line. After a further 5 seconds the aircraft came into view flying west over buildings to the east of the disused runway at a low height, in a slightly nose-high attitude. The right propeller appeared to be rotating slowly, there was some left rudder applied and the aircraft was yawed to the right. The left engine could be heard running at a high rpm and the landing gear was in the extended position. The aircraft appeared to be in a gentle right turn and was last observed flying in a north-west direction. The video then cut away from the aircraft for a further 25 seconds and when it returned there was a plume of smoke coming from buildings to the north of the runway. The pilot reported that the engine had lost power during a right climbing turn during the departure. He recovered the aircraft to level flight and selected the ‘right fuel booster’ pump (auxiliary pump) and the engine recovered power. He decided to return to Enstone and when he was abeam the threshold for Runway 08 the right engine stopped. He feathered the propeller on the right engine and noted that the single-engine performance was insufficient to climb or manoeuvre and, therefore, he selected a ploughed field to the north of Enstone for a forced landing. During the approach the pilot noticed that the left engine would only produce “approximately 57%” of maximum power, with the result that he could not make the field and crashed into some farm buildings. There was an immediate fire following the accident and the pilot and passenger both escaped from the wreckage through the rear cabin door. The pilot sustained minor burns. The passenger, who was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, sustained burns to his body, a fractured vertebra, impact injuries to his chest and lacerations to his head.