A CARBURETTOR icing up or fuel vapour interrupting the fuel flow may have been the cause of a light aircraft crash-landing close to Sandown's airport on a golf course in June this year, a report has concluded.

The two-seater Jodel D120's engine failed at 200ft above the airport and its pilot made a forced landing on Shanklin and Sandown Golf Course on June 3. The aircraft suffered significant damage to its left wing, undercarriage, fuselage and engine but the pilot was uninjured.

The report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch tells how the 51-year-old experienced pilot had originally planned to fly from Shifnal Airfield in Shropshire to Devon but changed his mind due to a weather forecast.

At around 400 ft after take-off, the engine started to run roughly but the pilot reduced power and applied heat to the carburettor. The rest of the flight to the Isle of Wight was normal.

However, after an aborted first attempt at landing at Sandown, the aircraft's engine failed after it climbed to 200 ft, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing on the golf course.

The report concludes: "After a long, floating landing and second bounce at Sandown, the pilot's decision to go around was logical. The engine failed at approximately 200 ft. With limited time and wooded areas to both sides, the pilot selected the only available clear landing site. The pilot's focus on flying the aircraft first assisted a safe outcome.

"The cause of the engine failure could not be determined, but may have been carburettor icing or fuel vapour interrupting the fuel flow."