Pilot's emergency road take-off ends with plane in nearby hedge

He attempted to fly from the A6105 near Duns after being forced to land in a nearby field two days earlier.

Pilot’s emergency road take-off ends with plane in nearby hedge of A6105, near Duns © Google Maps 2022

A light-aircraft ended up on top of a hedge after the pilot attempted to take-off from a public road in the Borders.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch report into the incident found that the pilot had made a precautionary landing in a field close to the A6105 near Duns two days earlier.

He was flying from Sherburn in Elmet airfield in Yorkshire to Perth on March 3 when he met “deteriorating weather” as he crossed the border into Scotland and was forced to descend to get clear of cloud.

The aircraft – an EV-97 Teameurostar – was damaged beyond repair in the accident and the pilot suffered minor injuries.

He secured the aircraft and informed police that he would return the following day to fly it out of the field.

Returning to the landing site, the pilot found the area was now “very boggy” – and paced out 700m of straight road nearby which he believed could provide a “safer take-off” than the field.

Local residents closed the A6105 to oncoming traffic and he then attempted to take to the air at about 11am.

However, as the aircraft approached take-off speed, a strong gust of wind forced the vehicle to the left – hitting a nearby hedge which in turn caused its right wing to hit the road surface.

The collision caused the plane to rotate 180 degrees and ultimately end up on top of a hedge.

The AAIB report said neither Scottish Borders Council nor the police had been informed of the take-off attempt.

It also found that the A6105 was “not adequate” for use by aircraft and by failing to seek permission the pilot could not assess the wider safety implications of his actions.