A SUDDEN gust of wind caused a microlight to end up on its side as it tried to take off at a county airfield, a report has concluded.
The 47-year-old pilot was flying from Broadmeadow Farm, near Callow, when the microlight suddenly veered to the right.
An Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said the pilot tried to correct the swing and applied forward pressure on the control bar, hoping that it would become airborne.
"However, the turn appeared to tighten and the aircraft left the runway, sliding on its right into the adjacent field," the report stated.
The AAIB said that the pilot attributed the loss of directional control to "a sudden guts of wind", possibly in conjunction with the soft, damp grass of the runway. The wind's gust was recorded at 16 knots and the aircraft had covered around 50 metres and approaching take-off speed when it started veering.
Damage was caused to the Quick GTR microlight's wing fabric and propeller following the accident last November.
However, the pilot did not sustain any injuries.
The pilot had 145 hours' of flying experience under his belt at the time of the accident and held a national private pilot's licence.
The AAIB added that he had performed the required pre-flight checks prior to taking off.