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  1. ITV Report

Pilot crash-landed in sea to avoid people on Pembrokeshire beach

Credit: RNLI/John Williams

A pilot crash-landed into the sea off Pembrokeshire after an engine failure to avoid hitting people on the crowded beach.

A report into the incident last September said an examination of the engine did not conclusively determine the cause of its failure.

The 53-year-old was pulled from the aircraft at Whitesands Bay. The St Davids Beach is a hotspot for families and surfers.

The pilot escaped with minor injuries.

Credit: RNLI/Sam Trevor

The experienced pilot - who had 339 hours of flying time under his belt - had recently received coaching on conducting forced landings.

Shortly after reaching cruising level, the pilot noticed a vibration and the engine began to run roughly. Selecting full throttle and carburettor heat did not resolve the loss of power and the aircraft was unable to maintain level flight.

The pilot then focussed on making a forced landing. His intention was to land on a beach, but due to the presence of people, the pilot instead landed along the water’s edge.

– Air Accident Investigation Branch