Suffolk/Essex: Lucky escape for pilot and passenger

An investigation has now been launched into how the Europa fixed-wing light aircraft missed the runway.

Emergency services were called to Campions Hill in Nayland on the Essex/Suffolk border at 10am. The plane was attempting to land in nearby Nayland Airfield but continued through a field and a public footpath before it finally stopped on a driveway outside Smokey Farm.

A 35-year-old male passenger sustained a broken leg and wrist and cuts to his face while the male pilot suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to Colchester General Hospital for treatment.

The plane - built in 1999 - is registered to Andrew Fletcher, of Lowestoft, and Guy Plenderleith, of Beccles, although it is not clear if either of the men were at the controls at the time of the accident.

A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said the passenger was trapped in the plane when she arrived at the scene.

“I heard a very loud bang which I thought it was just building work but then my husband came in and told me what had happened. I thought he was joking.

“I went to see what it was and a small plane was sat in a narrow driveway between two raised banks. The nose and the tail had completely come off from where it must have spun round and hit the sides.

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“The pilot was already out but the passenger was still in the plane bleeding quite heavily.

“I rang the emergency services but they had already been called and then they all turned up. My husband moved the aircraft with our tractor so the driveway can be used again.”

Firefighters from both counties attended the scene and cleared a 50 litre fuel spillage. The East of England Air Ambulance and Suffolk Police helicopter were also called to assist.

Nayland Airfield declined to comment.

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