Zenair Zodiac G-BVPL

Midlem, Selkirk, Scottish Borders













Aircraft Photo and Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: This is the same aircraft that crashed at Midlem near Selkirk.


pre-accident photo of zenair zodiac g-bvpl 


Photo: © Zenith Aircraft Company



BELOW: Another Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac.


zenair zodiac over the landing strip


Photo: © Zenith Aircraft Company



BELOW: A Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac instrument panel.


zenair zodaic instrument panel


Photo: © AirTeamImages.com






Aircraft Type and Background


Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac  /  G-BVPL



(General Aviation)


The Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac was supplied by the manufacturer in kit form, ready for self-assembly. (More details here.)


Manufacturer's Description


Popular since 1984, the ZODIAC CH 601 HD is the updated model of the original ZODIAC CH 600, which was designed by Chris Heintz as a low-cost primary trainer aircraft.


New improvements to this model include a wider 44-inch cabin and a larger rear baggage compartment. Standard equipment in the kit includes wing baggage lockers, hydraulic disk brakes, electric trim tab, tinted canopy, and much more.


Designed to meet the requirements of the demanding sport pilot, the aircraft offers great performance and capabilities, and is easy-to-fly with pilot-friendly characteristics, including a low landing (stall) speed. The aircraft has excellent cross-country flying capability as well as short-field performance of well under a thousand feet.







Aircraft Accident Details


David Trueman (65) of the Coach House, Glenmayne near Galashiels was the pilot of this aircraft. He was a retired RAF squadron leader.



AAIB Summary Report (Extract)


(AAIB Full Report here (PDF).)


© 2008 AAIB 


Information Source: AAIB Field Investigation.


After a local flight lasting approximately 50 minutes from Midlem Airstrip, control of the aircraft was lost and it crashed approximately ½ nm from the airstrip. It impacted the ground in an area of gorse bushes at relatively high speed and in a nose-down attitude.


The weather in the area at the time was both unlikely to have been suitable for VFR flying and highly conducive for carburettor icing. No technical or medical causal factors were identified during the investigation.

History of the flight

The pilot had told his family that he intended to carry out a local flight, possibly as far south as the Otterburn danger area as it would be closed during the holiday period.


He checked the weather and NOTAMS in the morning using the internet, before leaving home for Midlem airstrip, where he had based his aircraft for the previous two years. During the morning, the airfield owner noticed the pilot’s car was by his hanger and went to speak with him; the pilot was just finishing refuelling his aircraft and they had a short conversation.

Around noon, G-BVPL departed Midlem. A microlight pilot at [Gordon-Nether] Huntlywood [Farm] private strip, some 10 nm to the northeast of Midlem, heard the noise of an aircraft engine which he judged as being made by a Continental engine.


He saw an aircraft of similar size to G-BVPL, apparently cruising normally, twice in a ten minute period at around 1240 hrs. At 1545 hrs, some 2½ hours after the accident, two dog walkers discovered the wreckage of G-BVPL in a thick area of gorse, approximately ½ nm from Midlem airstrip.

They could see the pilot in the wreckage and called to him, but received no reply. One of them then ran to the nearest house and contacted the emergency services and the airfield owner, who was quickly on the scene.

Despite the strong smell of fuel and the risk of fire, they managed to force their way through the gorse to the aircraft, but it appeared to them that the pilot had been fatally injured.






Aircraft Pilot Casualty


The pilot who died in this accident was:

  • David Trueman (65)





Crash Site Photos


BELOW: The wreckage of Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac G-BVPL following the crash in a field at Midlem near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders.


(A pre-accident photo of G-BVPL can be seen at the top of this page.)


Zenair Zodiac wreckage


Photo: © 2007 AAIB


(See also BBC News photo here)


The above wreckage was later removed to their base at Farnborough by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).






















Crash Date / Site


Accident Date: 30 Dec 2007


Accident Site:


(Nose dived into gorse bushes in a farm field ½ nm from the airstrip.)


Region: Scottish Borders


Nearest towns or villages: Selkirk or St. Boswells.


Nearest large towns or cities: Selkirk (W), Melrose (N), or Galashiels (NW).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Present Condition: The bulk of the wreckage was removed to AAIB Farnborough.


Fragments only may remain at the crash site. However these will be located in the thick undergrowth (gorse bushes) where the Zodiac impacted the ground.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: G-BVPL


Operator: Civil Private.


Departure Airport: Midlem Airstrip.


Airport Location: Midlem near Selkirk, Scottish Borders.


Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airstrip

 (Grass strip / light aircraft only.)


Current Airport Name: Midlem Airstrip.




Related Links


Zenith Aircraft Company

Company Home Page

Zenith CH 650 Zodiac line (with description, diagrams and photos).


Other Links

Zenair CH 601 HD Zodiac taxiing and take-off on YouTube.

Zenair Zodiac at Wikipedia



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