December 6, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Escapade Aircraft Fatal Accident Due to Pilot’s Seat Misalignment


Shortly after takeoff, the Escapade light aircraft rolled left and departed from controlled flight, descended rapidly. and struck the ground.

The Escapade G-CGNV aircraft sustained major disruption, and the pilot was fatally injured.

The AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Bureau) investigation considered the fatal accident most likely resulted from the pilot’s seat sliding backward, thereby compromising his ability to maintain effective control of the aircraft. The pilot flew with his seat set fully forward but the seat was at its rearmost position when the aircraft struck the ground. The evidence indicates that due to misalignment, the seat adjustment pin had not been correctly located in one of the holes in the adjustment rail and the adjuster backup strap was not tightened. The exact cause of the misalignment of the seat pin and the failure of the adjuster backup are not known.

In a Special Bulletin published on December 14, 2021 the AAIB made three safety recommendations to the Civil Aviation Authority, the Light Aircraft Association and the British Microlight Aircraft Association to remind pilots of the importance of checking seats are correctly locked and any secondary locking mechanisms are correctly used, particularly after any seat adjustment. Read the report.

Image and content from AAIB, “AAIB investigation to Escapade, G-CGNV 141121: Rearward movement of pilot’s seat leading to loss of control in flight, Breighton Airfield, Selby, North Yorkshire, 14 November 2021.”

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