Aircraft crashes close to people on Graveley golf course

Plane crashed at Chesfield Downs Golf and Country Club in Graveley

The plane came to rest metres away from golfers at Chesfield Downs Golf and Country Club in Graveley - Credit: Jamie Hickin

A light aircraft crash-landed on a golf course on Sunday afternoon, just metres away from people playing golf.

The incident happened at Chesfield Downs Golf and Country Club in Graveley, which is situated next to an airstrip for light aircraft.

Eye witness Jamie Hickin, who was playing a round of golf on the course at the time of the incident, said: "After it’s first contact with the ground, it bounced up and veered towards me and my playing partner head-on.

"The plane came to rest 25 to 30 yards away from where I was.

"I was first on the scene and called 999."

He added: "How safe is Chesfield Downs golf course? This is not the first time this has happened."

On July 2, 2016, a light aircraft overran the runway when it returned to land at the Graveley airstrip following an instructional flight.

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According to the Air Accident Investigation Branch, which investigates civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK, the instructor had decided to perform the landing, while the student followed on the controls.

The investigation report says: "After a normal approach, the aircraft touched down just after the runway threshold. However, during the landing roll the instructor realised that the aircraft was not slowing down at the rate he expected.

"By this point a go-around was no longer possible, so he pumped the brakes and swerved the aircraft in an attempt to extend the landing distance available.

"Despite his actions, the aircraft came to rest in vegetation at the end of the runway, resulting in the nose gear leg collapsing and the propeller being damaged. The instructor stated that a combination of wet grass and a variable wind becoming a tailwind, had resulted in the increased landing distance."

Barry Careford, general manager at Chesfield Downs Golf and Country Club, said: "I can confirm that there was an incident involving a plane [on Sunday], where nobody was hurt.

"Our club followed the correct protocols and acted in a safe and professional manner.

"We do have a neighbouring business that operates an airstrip and we have assurances that the relevant safety protocols are in place."