Engine fail! Mike's Minisport forced landing and crash on video

The SD-1 Minisport is still moving at a fair rate... a second later it's in the hedge. Image: Mike Wood
The SD-1 Minisport is still moving at a fair rate... a second later it's in the hedge. Image: Mike Wood

Pilot Mike Wood has released a video showing his January 2024 crash after the engine failed on his Spacek SD-1 Minisport.

The story of the final flight of Mike’s single-seat deregulated (SSDR) Minisport starts with weeks of wet weather allowing no flying from his home base, Easterton Airfield, about 3 miles south of Elgin, Scotland. Then, on one sunny icy day in January, he was able to prepare and takeoff from the airfield, though he did note that the engine seemed reluctant to give the last 100rpm for max power.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report picks up the story:

“During cruise, the engine lost power and started to run rough. The subsequent forced landing on a frozen field was slightly downwind and the pilot needed to avoid some power cables.

“With insufficient distance to stop the pilot attempted a ground loop, but this was ineffective due to the ground conditions. The aircraft collided with the boundary hedge, and the pilot escaped uninjured despite damage to his helmet.”

Mike has since detailed the forced landing, calculating the field he chose – the only one that looked feasible – gave him 268m to land in, which would normally have been doable.

However, on approach he saw power wires ahead but had enough speed to hop over them at about 50ft and continue the landing. Then it became clear he was landing with a tailwind and on a downslope, on icy grass. Add all those factors in and he needed 435m – hence the attempt at a ground loop just before hitting the perimeter hedge, which just happened to also have a barbed wire fence buried in it.

Mike survived OK… but the Minisport didn’t. Watch Mike’s video for the full story.


Leave a Reply


We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.