South West Wales

Microlight crashed into River Cleddau after accidental descent

Microaircraft recovered from River Cleddau Image copyright Rudders Boatyard
Image caption Dyfed-Powys Police, coastguard rescue officers, the port authority and two leisure craft attended the emergency

A microlight crashed into a Pembrokeshire river after its pilot accidentally descended quickly and was forced to turn to avoid power lines, a report has found.

The pilot, 51, escaped without serious injury after crashing into the River Cleddau near Pembroke Dock on 9 March.

He was treated for hypothermia after swimming to the shore.

The unnamed pilot told the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) his view had been restricted by the sun.

The AAIB report said the pilot had tried to shield his eyes against the sun and relaxed his pressure on the foot throttle which caused the aircraft to fall.

Image copyright Rudders Boatyard
Image caption The pilot was treated at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest following the crash

When he saw a power line and pylons in front of him he tried to start a climbing right turn which caused the wing to stall and the microlight to lose control, he told investigators.

The report said after hitting the water at Burton, he could not undo his lap strap with his gloved hand so had to use his teeth to take off one glove before he could release the harness.

The pilot told the AAIB he would use the hand throttle to control his aircraft in future.

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