Metal frame near runway

PUBLISHED: 11:03 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 14:03 10 October 2012

An instructor flew with the owner of a Piper Cub for a type conversion at Fenland Airfield.

An instructor flew with the owner of a Piper Cub for a type conversion at Fenland Airfield. To position for the grass runway, the aircraft taxied clear of the runway edge markers and backtracked along a 'run-off' area towards the threshold of R36.

The aircraft owner used an elevated seat cushion and seat-back padding to enable her to reach the rudder pedals. As a result, the visibility for the instructor, in the rear, was obscured in an arc 30¡ to 40¡ either side of the aircraft centreline. Weaving the aircraft's nose from side to side during ground manoeuvring was essential.

Situated close to the R36 run-up area was a Low Intensity Two Colour Approach Slope System (LITAS). This had been damaged in a previous taxying incident and some of it had been removed. The remainder, a metal frame structure, was marked at its centre by an amber-coloured traffic cone--the aircraft collided with this.

After inspection, as the aircraft was some distance from the airfield club facilities and parking area, it was decided to taxi it slowly back for further inspection. Before it reached the parking area the tension bar broke completely and the left landing gear collapsed.

The runway marker boards had recently been repositioned, at the request of CAA Aerodrome Standards officials, leaving the LITAS installation more exposed, within the centre of the runway run-off area. As a result of this and previous occurrences, the airfield operator is repositioning the LITAS installation.

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