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Unlicensed Pilot Crashed On First Flight

Posted in Cockpit Crew News4 comments

A 55-YEAR-OLD man had a narrow escape when he crashed and destroyed a microlight aircraft that had only been delivered to him the day before.

The Solar Wings Pegasus was coming in to land in a field near Carnew, Co Wicklow, on September 3rd, 2007, when the pilot lost control and “impacted heavily”.

The 14-year-old microlight was destroyed and the pilot suffered minor injuries, according to a report from Department of Transport air accident investigator Paddy Judge yesterday.

“The investigation is concerned that a modern microlight was bought and that an attempt was made to fly it in this manner, without training or supervision,” the report says.

The unnamed pilot had bought the aircraft in the UK. Having rigged it, he decided to take it for a flight. “After take-off the pilot found the handling of the microlight to be difficult, possibly, he judged, due to a rigging error,” according to the report.

The microlight’s UK permit to fly had expired earlier in the year and had not been renewed by the previous owner. The pilot had no flying licence but said he had about 25 hours’ previous experience flying a different microlight.

“He had no recent flying experience and had no pilot’s logbook.”

The pilot stated that many years previously he flew hang gliders and progressed to a microlight, flying this for several years when he said the activity was unregulated and no licence was required.

“The pilot appeared to be unaware that a private pilot’s licence is required when flying within the State,” the report says.

The National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI), which is responsible for the oversight of all microlight aircraft under their control, told the investigation that a number of unlicensed microlight aircraft are still flying in Ireland.

In a safety recommendation Mr Judge says the Irish Aviation Authority and the NMAI should together “address the issue of unlicensed microlight operations”.


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  1. Will they also address all the unlicensed and uninsured car drivers

  2. Where are you from Mr Baker? Where i am now, it is illegal to drive without driving license or motor insurance.

  3. I think Dave is referring to all the _illegal_ unlcenced and unisured car drivers, of whom there are estimated to be one and a half million in the UK. I believe his comment was to highlight the fact that aircraft seem to be viewed so differently in the eyes of the law, the public and the press and that some sort of comment was deemed necessary about unlicenced microlight operaions – scourge of society that they are….

  4. In Australia it is fine to drive without a license if someone who have a license is sitting beside you. And as long you have a 3rd party insurance, that’s fine. UK is one of the few coutnries where they force people to buy insurance for a price higher than the car! Clearly they have a social problem there which the government haven’t took care of and then pass it on to it’s people. I have friends in uk whom’s car got broken into every few months.

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