AN AIR ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION BRANCH (AAIB) report has been published detailing the crash landing of a light aircraft into shallow water off Whitesands Bay.
On September 4 2018, the Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee suffered an engine fault, causing a loss of power. The 53-year-old pilot had taken off from Haverfordwest Airport, around 18 miles (29km) away, approximately 20 minutes before the crash landing.
The report said: “Shortly after reaching cruising level, the pilot noticed a vibration and the engine began to run roughly. Selecting full throttle and carburettor heat did not resolve the loss of power and the aircraft was unable to maintain level flight.
“The pilot then focussed on making a forced landing. His intention was to land on a beach, but due to the presence of people, the pilot instead landed along the water’s edge.
“The aircraft landed in shallow water on its main landing gear, but the nose gear broke off when it contacted the water.
The pilot was uninjured and able to vacate the aircraft unaided. A subsequent examination of the engine did not conclusively determine the cause of the failure.”
The pilot was the only person on board, and had 339 hours of flying experience at the time of the crash.