Wales

Helicopter pilot's escape from Cardiff quarry

The G-WPKR helicopter Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The pilot eventually managed to land the helicopter on a fence

A pilot who overshot a landing site and descended into a quarry just managed to manoeuvre his helicopter to the edge of the precipice.

An Air Accident Investigations Branch report said he landed only half a metre from the quarry edge, near Tongwynlais, Cardiff, in July.

The report said the Enstrom chopper hovered above the quarry floor before the 54-year-old pilot made his ascent.

The pilot acknowledged he "misjudged" the steep and challenging approach.

The report said during the descent towards a private landing site, the high rotor rpm warning alarm activated.

'Extensive damage'

"In his attempt to reduce the rotor rpm, the pilot overcorrected and the low rotor speed warning alarm then sounded," it added.

The pilot then overshot the helipad into a neighbouring quarry and descended to about 50ft (15m) above the quarry floor.

While climbing out of the quarry, the helicopter ran out of power and the low rotor rpm warning activated again.

"The pilot reported that he was unable to either turn or descend without colliding with the rock face," added the report.

"The helicopter narrowly managed to clear the lip of the quarry but landed on a fence and some ballast bags, sustaining extensive damage."

The pilot was not injured and investigators stated the "importance of preparation for helicopter operations in to challenging or confined sites".

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