Light aircraft makes emergency landing in major industrial estate

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

BBC Wales and iPTV station VTV are reporting that a light aircraft made an emergency landing at 13:00 BST at Treforest Industrial Estate near Cardiff.

The aircraft, an orange-coloured single-engine model Fox home-built kit was carrying two people when it made a forced landing on a section of dual carriageway within the industrial estate.

It is not known how severely the man and woman on board were injured, a spokesperson for South Wales Police stated that both of the aircraft's occupants sustained "non life-threatening injuries".

Treforest Industrial Estate is one of the largest business parks in the south Wales valleys. Its location, just two hundred metres from the main A470 expressway could have resulted in a far greater tragedy.

VTV reporter and private pilot Craig Handley said that the location of the accident "would have been the most logical place to try and set the aircraft down as the dual carriageway, which runs through the estate, is clearly visible from the air and is almost completely straight and wide."

Today's accident comes less than a year after a similar-sized aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing less than two miles away from Treforest Industrial Estate. A Cessna 150 suffered a sudden loss of engine power during its approach to nearby Cardiff International Airport.

The Cessna in the earlier accident collided with a group of trees shedding its wings before coming to rest on a small country road. The two occupants of that aircraft received slight injuries.

South Wales Police have not confirmed whether any motorists or pedestrians were injured when the aircraft in today's accident made its emergency landing. The aircraft did cause some structural damage to a factory unit on the industrial estate prior to coming to rest, inverted, on the adjacent dual carriageway.

According to one eyewitness, the aircraft appeared to have experienced an engine-related problem seconds before impact.

A spokesperson, for Cardiff International Airport said that the aircraft had departed from Cardiff at 12:43 BST and that the airport's Air Traffic Control centre had lost contact with the plane.

The Civil Aviation Authority's Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) have been informed and are due to begin their investigation into the crash.