Photo: Mark Godden/Twitter


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Photo: Jessica Williams

A plane has crash landed into the Solent between Cowes and Calshot this afternoon (Sunday).

The light aircraft came down unexpectedly whilst flying West to East sometime before 15:00.

Calshot RNLI’s inshore lifeboats have been tasked to the scene but it is understood that nearby vessels have already pulled 2 people out of the water.

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The duo’s condition is unknown, but they are thought to have survived.

HM Coastguard have confirmed they are dealing with the ongoing incident at Calshot Spit.

UPDATE @ 15:40 – Aviation enthusiasts have confirmed that the plane is a Cirrus SR22, which is understood to have left Dunkeswell Airfield in Exeter for Solent Airport at Lee-on-Solent at around 14:10 BST.

The aircraft appears to have been flying at around 1,600ft and at 130kts before suddenly losing altitude at 14:41, plummeting to 800ft before dropping off radar tracking.

Photos show that the plane’s Cirrus Airframe Parachute System- a type of parachute attached to the fuselage – was deployed successfully.

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The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will be informed of the crash and an investigation will be launched.

UPDATE @ 16:58 – HM Coastguard has issued a statement on the incident:

“At 2.43pm this afternoon, HM Coastguard received numerous reports that a light aircraft had ditched into the water off Calshot Spit on the Solent.

“It was confirmed two people were on-board the aircraft. Both people were able to climb out of the aircraft after it came down and were then rescued by a nearby vessel.

“Hamble independent lifeboat escorted both casualties to Hamble Lifeboat Station. Neither person required medical assistance and both were declared well by the South Central Ambulance Service. They also made contact with Hampshire Police at the lifeboat station.

“The aircraft is now beached at Calshot and Lymington Coastguard Rescue Team are securing it. The Air Accident Investigation Branch have been informed.

“Any possible pollution damage will be assessed and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Duty Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer has been informed”.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Is it normal to have a parachute in a light aircraft.


Not a private one no

Tony Marsh

Quite a few light aircraft now have a parachute fitted for the plane itself. Incase of loss of power , pull the schute and the plane floats down .

John simpson

As far as I am aware only the Cirrus aircraft have a ballistic airframe recovery system.

Don't tell him pike.

A lot of new 3 axis microlights have them fitted CTSW etc .use as a last resort .better to carry out a forced landing in a field if poss .better chance of saving the aircraft.
But if ditching in water better to come down vertically ,especially if you have a fixed undercarriage .


I’ve got a fixed undercarriage!

Peter Terry

plenty of aircraft now have them fitted….including trike type microlights….


A loss of power would not be a reason to deploy a chute.



Don't tell him pike.

It’s a ballistic recovery system for the aircraft not the pilot .


Most don’t but I believe all (or at least all new) Cirrus made aircraft have them installed. Mainly just on the single engine ones

Steve Clark

Not normally in the old designs of the sixties and seventies but it’s a standard fit in Cirrus which was designed in the late nineties.


Yes many light aircraft have them.

Stephen Thomas

Yes this type of aircraft has a parachute fitted.


Normal or not, thank God they did.

Tom W.

How rude.


it is a growing trend to have one


A plane went over haylands about 115 today and i said to the wife that sounds a bit like the engine is not right


I heard that too. The sound caught my ear because it sounded unusual. I hope all are safe

John Gullible

I live in similar area and saw and heard a plane going over my garden east to west. The engine stuttered then restarted.


i dont know why all aircraft cant have this parachute system, think of the lives it would save.


Not so – you have no control where it’s going to land – church steeple, power lines, you are a passenger not a pilot at that stage.

Don't tell him pike.



Even the Milk Tray man is struggling these days …..

Richard collins

You win! 😀

Captain chaos

Yes, the whole aircraft parachute is becoming more common. It’s role is to slow decent to a survivable crash speed, great idea especially over water

Captain chaos

The chute is attached to the fuselage, as opposed to a person and it slows the whole aircraft down

Captain chaos

The other difference is its a ballistic system, meaning it is fired out, rather than just reliance on the air as it falls to open it. It fires upwards and opens rapidly.

F Brownsill

Surprised it landed upside down. Ok . Ish. On water, so long as you get out. Could be nasty on land.

Captain chaos

The deployment of the parachute is a double edged sword , whist it will slow the rate of decent, it will also immediately arrest Forward speed, so no longer gliding or flying level. The parachute is deployed via a solid state rocket, so it goes up and opens rather than relying on the body of weight falling to open it, it’s very instant. When an aircraft has no forward motion, it becomes like a stone and falls vertically, as opposed to having a glide path, the heaviest part being the engine/engines up front so it will come down nose first… Read more »

Neil Murgatroyd

they are rigged to descend level, but they start off a bit nose down. As said below, the parachute can drag the plane over AFTER landing

Don't tell him pike.


Steve Clark

It will have landed the right way up. The parachute drag would have dragged it over.


i saw it go down it went nose first into the water then uprighted the pilot and passenger got out then about 15 min later it sunk with the parachute still inflated dragging the plane to shore as it was dragging it it flipped over

Captain chaos

The parachute system is a double edged sword, whist it will slow decent it will also arrest all forward motion so there is no longer a glide path. The weight of the aircraft is predominantly at the front with the engine or engines, so the plane will come down vertically, nose first. The parachute is deployed via a rocket fired upwards and does rely on the falling body to open it in the air, which would be too slow and require more height. It all happens very fast. When the plane hits the ground nose first, the majority of the… Read more »


They used to assemble them at Bembridge Airport.


So is lock down over then?


Yup – float down is the new black!


One more time, CAPS system has saved lives. I love the Cirrus.



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