Pilot escapes after plane’s crash landing

editorial image

A pilot from Halifax had to dig his way out of his plane after performing an emergency landing when the engine stopped working.

Cliff Whitwell, from Southowram, who works at Millers Oils in Brighouse, was flying at 400 feet when the plane’s engine cut out.

The 56-year-old, who has more than 600 hours of flying experience, was forced to crash land in a ploughed field near Breighton Airfield in Selby.

Mr Whitwell, who was uninjured, then had to tunnel his way out of the single-seater cockpit through the damaged canopy after the plane finished upside down.

A report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch says Mr Whitwell had been flying for around 25 minutes without any problems, but that ice in the carburettor, a common hazard with light aircraft, of the 1976 Taylor Monoplane caused the engine to fail.