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Aircraft crashed because pilot was trying to avoid birds

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An aircraft crashed into a fence and ended up in bushes after the pilot tried to avoid a flock of birds on a runway.

The incident happened at Oban Airport, Argyll and Bute, on 13 July last year.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said none of the three people on board were injured in the incident.

They all managed to leave the aircraft before emergency services arrived on the scene.

During the takeoff roll the sole crew member, on board with two passengers and a dog, noticed the flock of birds on the end of the runway and attempted to abort.

The Extra 400 aircraft, which was heading to Shoreham, overran and struck the airfield boundary fence before stopping in an area of bushes before the shoreline.

‘Unable to stop’

The report said: “The pilot stated that, in his view, aircraft performance was very poor at the lift-off speed indicated in the [Pilots Operating Handbook] and that he always used higher speeds.

“At approximately 80 (knots) the pilot became aware of a flock of birds at low level over the end of the runway.

“He was concerned that the aircraft would not have sufficient performance to climb above the birds and so decided to stop.”

It added that the 53-year-old pilot believed the brakes became ineffective after overheating with the engine shockloaded. The propeller and front wheel were also damaged.

The report concluded: “Distracted by the presence of birds over the end of the runway the pilot made a decision to abort the takeoff at high speed but was unable to stop before overrunning the end of the runway.”

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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County Championship: Chris Jordan and Ben Brown revive Sussex at Northants

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Ben Brown (left) and Chris Jordan

Specsavers County Championship Division Two, County Ground, Northampton (day one):
Sussex 370-6: Jordan 158*, Brown 153*; Sanderson 3-71
Northamptonshire: Yet to bat
Northamptonshire 2 pts, Sussex 4 pts
Scorecard

Chris Jordan and Ben Brown put together an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 302 runs as Sussex turned things around in style against Northants on day one.

Sussex were 68-6 but they each passed 150 to go within 43 of the all-time English record seventh-wicket stand.

England all-rounder Jordan closed on a career-best 158, with Brown on 153 as Sussex reached 370-6 at Wantage Road.

Ben Sanderson took 3-9 in a dominant first session for Northants, dismissing both openers Phil Salt and Ben Haines.

No one in the Sussex top five scored more than 20 runs on a morning which saw bowlers well on top across the County Championship.

Jordan reached his ton minutes before wicket-keeper Brown as they broke Sussex’s previous seventh-wicket record partnership of 108 against Northants, set in 1921 by Maurice Tate and Herbert Wilson.

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Chessington surprise: Pupils go to theme park instead of exam

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Primary school pupils who thought they were due to sit an exam turned over their papers to discover they would be going on a surprise theme park trip.

Staff at the school in Horsham, West Sussex, secretly organised the visit to Chessington World of Adventures.

The exam paper said they had been “tricked” into thinking they had a “science test” but would actually be spending the day on roller-coasters.

Their teacher said it was a “treat to say well done” for their hard work.

The year 6 class at St Andrews School in Nuthurst had spent the week sitting SATs exams.

Deputy head teacher Sam Bacon, who planned the surprise, said: “I felt like I wanted to do something slightly more for them as they had been working so hard and it came to me that we could surprise them.”

He emailed parents to get permission and swore them to secrecy.

“They kept the secret brilliantly,” he said.

The mock exam paper told children to not to make any noise, allowing their classmates time to read the question.

“Once I knew that everyone had read the question, I confirmed it and there were quite a few tears of joy and more disbelief,” he said.

Mr Bacon, 31, said the school’s approach was to avoid “stressing children out” about SATs.

“We tell them that it is important to try their best, but the result does nothing more than to tell them what they can do in those specific subjects, and there is far more to education than that.”

Details of the trip posted on the school’s Facebook page prompted a flurry of supportive messages.

A former pupil wrote on Facebook: “What a beautiful thing to do. I went to this school a billion years ago and I am so pleased to read it’s still very special. Fantastic.”

Another said: “That’s made me cry. Fantastic.”

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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County lines: The fight against the illegal drug trade

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Police in Sussex say London drug gangs are increasingly using guest houses and Airbnb rentals to target provincial towns.

The “county lines” drug trade sees young or vulnerable people used to traffic drugs.

This footage was filmed by an officer during an operation in Hastings.

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