Cotswold Airport crash: Bronco had 'unusual configuration'

The Bronco plane on fire at Cotswold Airport Image copyright John Hatton
Image caption The OV-10 Bronco crashed during a practice flight at Cotswold Airport in 2012

A plane that crashed during a barrel roll over the Cotswolds had an "unusual configuration", a report has said.

Pilot Tony De Bruyn was rescued from the burning OV-10 Bronco after the crash at Cotswold Airport in July 2012.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the plane crashed mid-barrel roll and a full fuel tank and slow entry speed may have been a cause.

Mr De Bruyn, 48, was seriously injured in the crash and spent two months in Frenchay Hospital's burns unit.

An AAIB report about the crash said the pilot had been carrying out a display practice at the airport on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border in suitable weather conditions.

'Potential safety issues'

However, the fuel tank was full, which the report said was "unusual configuration for performing a display" and may have affected the "performance and feel of the aircraft".

It also said the barrel roll entry speed was "lower than recommended", which would have had an effect on the aircraft, "especially with the unusual fuel load".

Image copyright RIAT
Image caption The Bronco aircraft had been part of a static display at the 2012 Royal International Air Tattoo

The report included four safety recommendations, two relating to the way the Civil Aviation Authority grants authorisation for flying displays and special events and two suggesting improvements in communication between those who maintain and those who pilot aircraft.

It added there were "potential safety management issues" where a single individual, such as Mr de Bruyn, was responsible for multiple roles.

The Belgian-based OV-10B Bronco Demo Team had been in the UK as part of the Royal International Air Tattoo at nearby RAF Fairford.

The pilot, along with his team, returned to the West Country last summer to thank medical staff and members of the public for their help and support.

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