Accident: Pipistrel Taurus 503, EI-ECS, Birr Airfield Co. Offaly, Ireland, 6 December 2008: Report No 2010-013

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The new motor glider took off from Birr Airfield (EIBR) on a check flight prior to issuance of a Permit to Fly.  There were two persons on board, the Check Pilot and the Owner. During the climb the engine suddenly stopped and subsequent attempts to restart it failed.  An attempt was made to return to the airfield but the aircraft became low on approach.  In attempting a forced landing into a field short of EIBR the aircraft struck the topmost branches of a tree and descended into a garden.  Neither occupant was injured other than minor cuts.  The Pilot candidly stated that he had misjudged the approach back to the airfield, having been distracted by the engine stoppage and the attempts to restart it. The Emergency Services attended and were warned by the crew that an unmarked ballistic parachute, an explosive rocket device, was installed on the aircraft.

Four Safety Recommendation are issued as a result of this Investigation: Three Safety Recommendation are issued; to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and to the State of Slovenia requiring that warning placards are placed on the outside of an aircraft, when such an aircraft is equipped with a ballistic parachute system.  A fourth Safety Recommendation is issued to Pipistrel concerning the provision of information in the Flight Manual regarding the possibility of sudden engine stoppage.

Occurrence Date: December 06, 2008
Report Date: September 02, 2010
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