SPECIAL AWARD OF THE CERTIFICATE OF MERIT IN AERONAUTICS CMAe
On 10 January 2012 Peter Goff made a routine flight from Bakersfield, near Deenethorpe, to Enstone in his A22 FoxBat G-CGWP. On departure from Enstone he removed flap as usual at around 300 feet and climbed to 1400 feet on maximum revs before turning right and reducing revs to 5000. He adjusted the trim and continued to climb to 2000 feet. Using a little right rudder to counteract engine torque the aircraft began to shudder violently. Thinking that this might be an engine problem he reduced power immediately, the shuddering continued for about six seconds then stopped. The aircraft was yawing to the right and when he tried to apply left rudder he heard a violent bang from the tail. Although the aircraft was then stable he realized that he had no rudder movement. Using ailerons for directional control and power for height he elected to put the aircraft on a course back to Enstone, as there was an into-wind runway. He made a PAN call to Enstone and set himself up on long final for R26 (hard), not realising at this point that he had limited or no elevator control. On final approach at 65 mph he discovered that he could not use the elevator for rounding out and chose not to try and free this by force but to continue the approach. As he approached the ground he applied power to raise the nose and then cut the power at 60 mph. The aircraft flared close to the ground and settled in a normal landing. Having no nosewheel steering during the landing resulted in the aircraft coming safely to a standstill on the grass to the side of the hard runway.
This episode shows tremendous presence of mind and coolness under pressure, considerable skill at using ailerons only to establish a controlled descent and approach and use of the engine to set up the correct attitude for a successful landing.
On hearing this news the Officers of the WFAeC made an immediate award of the
Certificate of Merit in Aeronautics CMAe
to recognize a significant achievement of airmanship and piloting skills.
We warmly congratulate him on a successful outcome.