It should have been a shock for a prepare driver in Britain when he smashed into the wreckage of a crashed scale-model kerosene-fueled fighter jet final month. And it should have been extra of a shock for the air accident investigators who needed to look into the relatively unusual incident between Liverpool and Manchester.
The BBC experiences that the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Department not too long ago launched a report detailing the odd prevalence on September 16 in Warrington, 20 miles east of Liverpool and 16 miles west of Manchester. An unidentified 72-year-old was taking his 1:10 scale mannequin of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom out of its maiden check flight at Kenyon Corridor Farm Airstrip, a mannequin membership runway that occurs to be situated adjoining to a railway line.
The F-4 mannequin was not too long ago constructed, and the plane wasn’t in good working order earlier than takeoff. The report mentions, “In the course of the flight, the pilot famous that the aileron response was ‘sluggish,’ however he thought of it ample for secure flight. He subsequently famous that up elevator was required to take care of stage flight and progressively utilized ‘up’ trim.” Issues shortly went incorrect.
The F-4 Phantom mannequin was found on the railway line, but it surely was hit by a prepare. Afterward, the pilot and different membership members recovered the wreckage. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
It isn’t clear exactly how much time passed between the discovery of the model plane’s crash site on the tracks and the train plowing over the wreckage. Though, I want to imagine that the scaled-down F4 was found and then immediately struck by the passing train in comedic fashion.
Network Rail, the United Kingdom’s state-owned rail infrastructure manager, also had comments for the investigators on the incident:
“Network Rail advised the AAIB that an object the size and weight of the model aircraft on a railway track would be unlikely to cause damage or risk of derailment to a moving train. However, collision with a train, in particular the driver’s window, could cause a substantial safety threat, particularly given the carriage of jet fuel in this particular case. It could also represent a risk to track workers or users of the pedestrian crossing.”
The British Model Flying Association (BMFA) has amended its procedures on turbine-powered model flight. Also, the BMFA member’s handbook now includes a 24-hour emergency phone number to report track safety threats to Network Rail. The local club at Kenyon Hall Farm Airstrip will now also require committee approval for turbine-powered flights. The airstrip has been in operation for seven years with 6,500 flights per year, and this was the first time that there had been a crash on the railway line.