Men escape crash landing drama

A PILOT and his passenger had a miraculous escape after the engine of the two-seater plane they were flying in failed over Essex.The Yak52's motor cut out as it was flying near Maldon, necessitating emergency procedures and a crash landing in farmland.

By Roddy Ashworth

A PILOT and his passenger had a miraculous escape after the engine of the two-seater plane they were flying in failed over Essex.

The Yak52's motor cut out as it was flying near Maldon, necessitating emergency procedures and a crash landing in farmland.

But when paramedics reached the site of the incident, they were surprised to find both occupants out of the aircraft and uninjured.


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The emergency began at around 11.20am yesterday morning when the pilot of the plane, which is registered to Kevin Pilling, from Chesham in Buckinghamshire, issued a mayday call.

This was relayed to the ambulance service, who rushed to the scene and scrambled their helicopter support unit.

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The air ambulance reached the field near Hatfield Road, Langford, seven minutes after the incident was reported. A paramedic manager quickly arrived as back-up.

Aircrew Paramedic Rachel Edwards said: “The occupants of the Yak52 two-seater said its engine had cut out, so they activated emergency drill procedures and made an emergency landing in a crop field.

“They had made a distress call to North Weald Airfield, which in turn alerted the ambulance service.

“We reached the field only a few minutes after the light aircraft made its crash landing.

“Upon arrival, we were relieved to find both occupants out and walking and their plane with only minor damage.

“We checked over the two men, both estimated to be in their late 50s or early 60s, but they were uninjured and didn't need hospital treatment.”

Aircrew member Richard Mackie said: “This is a classic example of how important the air ambulance is.

“Fortunately in this case no one needed any urgent medical treatment, but it must be reassuring to the people involved to know that had their crash landing been more disastrous, we would have been there almost straight-away to begin treating them.”

A spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue Service said that officers attended the scene to make sure the light aircraft was safe and there were no fuel leaks or electrical problems.

A spokesman for Essex Police said they were aware of the incident but as there were no injuries and the plane was on private land the force had not been involved in the incident.

A spokesman for the Air Accident Information Branch said it would wait for the pilot to report the accident and then decide whether it warranted full investigation.

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