AN OFFICIAL report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has revealed that a plane flown by an unqualified pilot "bounced three times, hit a fence, crossed a road and crashed upside down" at Caernarfon Airport.

The report states that the aircraft was travelling "too fast and too high" during a crash which occurred at 1.15pm on May 12.

The pilot had never flown that particular type of aircraft (single-engined Piper PA-38 Tomahawk) before, but had flown this one from Blackpool to Caernarfon.

His companion, a qualified pilot but not a flight instructor, took control of the plane shortly before the crash.

The aircraft bounced three times along the runway before flying low near two hangars, hitting the perimeter fence and crossing a public road before crashing upside down into a field.

The unnamed pair involved in the incident were not seriously hurt, but were treated by Wales Air Ambulance paramedics at the scene. The aircraft was badly damaged.

The 46-year-old qualified pilot said he was aware his companion was not a qualified pilot so "should not have manipulated the controls without being supervised by a flight instructor".

The AAIB were notified of the incident but did not investigate in the field. Their report has been compiled from comments given to them by the qualified pilot, as well as CCTV footage recorded at Caernarfon airport and further enquiries.

The report stated that the left hand seat occupant was "in the process of learning to fly on another aircraft type" and "had logged 26 hours under instruction."

It further added that the unqualified pilot "manoeuvred the aircraft into the circuit in good visibility" then "on final approach, the pilot in command suggested they were too high and the unqualified pilot acknowledged this but did not achieve the optimum approach path."

Shortly before touchdown, the pilot in command intervened and took control of the aircraft. The report concluded that he realised his decision to allow the unqualified pilot to fly the aircraft may have been influenced by the fact that he was a senior work colleague.