Trio had a ‘miraculous’ escape from serious harm

Light plane crash near Castle Bytham'Photo: Jonathan Smith
Light plane crash near Castle Bytham'Photo: Jonathan Smith
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Air accident investigators are trying to find out how a light aircraft managed to flip over and crash into a rural bungalow.

The plane came down near a grass airstrip between Castle Bytham and Swayfield just after 2pm on Wednesday.

The pilot, a 73-year-old man from Thurnby, Leicestershire was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham by air ambulance with back and leg injuries, cuts and bruises.

A 52-year-old tanker driver who was making a delivery nearby was taken to a local hospital and was believed to have sustained minor cuts and bruises along with shock.

Yesterday the Air Accidents Investigation Branch began looking into the crash. A spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident and are making initial inquiries.”

At the time of going to press the pilot was still in hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The plane crashed into the roof of the bungalow and came to rest upside down, trapping the pilot who had to be freed from the wreckage by firefighters.

Pete Wiles, from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the occupant of the bungalow, a 61-year-old, was in the garden with the tanker driver when the plane crashed.

“I understand the occupant pushed the tanker driver out of the way and in doing that he moved out of the way as well,” said Mr Wiles.

“In the process of being pushed, the tanker driver sustained a cut to the chin.

“If they hadn’t moved...they would have been hit.”

He added: “It could have been far more serious than it actually was and there could have been three people killed or seriously injured.

“It’s a fairly miraculous escape...there’s an overhead power line nearby which it missed as well.”

The plane was pulled down from the bungalow yesterday morning. The road to the airstrip remained cordoned off.

The isolated airstrip near Creeton Quarry is understood to belong to John Seed, who lives next door. It comprises two grass runways; one running north to south and one east to west. Mr Seed declined to comment on the crash.

Conditions were overcast at the time of the crash, but not foggy. It is not yet known whether the pilot was trying to land when he crashed.

Anyone who saw the crash is asked to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 244 of November 19.