A pilot claimed that he crash-landed in Yorkshire after a nearby wind farm caused turbulence.
His Piper PA-22-150 was damaged beyond repair after it veered off the runway at Beverley Airfield in August 2021 and ended up in a field.
The 66-year-old, who suffered minor injuries and was the only person on board, told the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) he lost control after a “violent gust” of wind lifted the right wing.
The pilot claimed there was “turbulence caused by the wake” of a wind turbine, which is around 1.4km from the airfield.
But investigators found the aircraft would have to be within 1.3km of the nearest wind turbine in Beverley to be affected.
That is because the Civil Aviation Authority states the turbulence “could still be noticeable” when the aircraft is within a distance that is 16 times the diameter of the turbine’s rotor.
While research published by the University of Liverpool stated “turbulence should become dissipated below noticeable levels” at a third of that distance.
In a report, AAIB said: “The available literature would suggest that the possibility of encountering wake turbulence from the windfarm at this airfield is remote.
“However, it cannot be entirely ruled out.”
The managers of the airfield told investigators that no other pilots had reported turbulence caused by the windfarm when they came into land.
But the AAIB said that anyone who believes they have been affected by wind turbine wake turbulence should contact the Civil Aviation Authority.
It added: “This will allow a more representative understanding of the issue and ensure the guidance for operating close to a wind farm is based on theoretical and practical knowledge.”
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