Pilot crashes into North Yorkshire field after practising aerobatic sequences

A stunt pilot crashed into a field in North Yorkshire after the landing went wrong, investigators have revealed.

The plane veered off the narrow runway at Wombleton Airfield and came to a stop in the field

The 36-year-old pilot, who was the only person on board, escaped uninjured after the right wing of his CAP 232 aircraft got caught in crops which line a 15m wide runway at Wombleton Airfield, near Pickering.

Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the plane veered off into a field at around 12.20pm on June 12 and was then brought to a stop by the crops.

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The pilot had been practising aerobatic sequences above the airfield for around 10 minutes before the crash landing.

The AAIB report states: “The pilot lined up the aircraft for final approach and settled into a descent.

“As he flared the aircraft, it started to drift to the right side of the runway and although the pilot attempted to correct the drift, as the wheels touched down, the right wing caught the dense crops growing at the edge of the runway.

“The aircraft veered off the runway into the crop and came to a stop. The pilot was uninjured but the propeller blades, landing gear and an aileron (part of wing) were damaged during the accident.”

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It adds: “He described how he failed to observe the extent of the drift and when he realised and attempted to correct it, it was too late.”

The pilot, who has more than 320 hours of flying experience, said the accident could have been averted if he had initiated an “immediate go-around”, which is also known as an aborted landing.

Earlier this year, a replica Spitfire veered off a runway and crashed into another aircraft at a Yorkshire airfield but investigators say it is “not clear what caused the loss of control”.

The experienced 65-year-old pilot escaped unharmed from the crash, which happened shortly after the plane landed at Breighton Airfield in Selby, at 2.55pm on April 22 in 2021.

The AAIB report states the Spitfire Mk 26 bounced during a three-point landing and the tailwheel steering disengaged when the pilot “applied momentary full rudder”.

The propeller and the left wing of the two-seat reduced scale replica of the original Spitfire fighter aircraft, which was built in 2019, were damaged in the crash. There were no passengers on board and no one in the parked aircraft.