IT WAS only when his BMW crashed into a fence on the edge of a 100ft drop that Robert Jones realised he had been led astray by his satnav.
Mr Jones, who drives for a living, plunged down a near-vertical footpath on the hills above Todmorden because the electronic device said it was a road.
He said: "It kept insisting the path was a road even as it was getting narrower and steeper so I just trusted it. You don't expect to be taken nearly over a cliff."
He called police who charged him with careless driving before a recovery team from Stoneywood Motors launched a nine-hour operation to recover his vehicle.
Mr Jones, from Doncaster, was in Todmorden visiting friends.
He said: "I rely on the satnav. I couldn't do without it for my job and this is the first time anything like this has ever happened.
"I guess I'm just lucky the car didn't slip all the way over the edge. It's been a bit of a nightmare."
The drama, which started at 11.15am on Sunday above the Gauxholme railway bridge, attracted a crowd of onlookers as heavy machinery was brought in to stop the car falling.
One said: "It was like a scene from The Italian Job – but what a waste of police time.
"It's all well and good trusting your satnav but how about trusting your eyes?
"When there's not a road in front of you, don't keep driving.
"I've heard of lorries getting stuck on village roads before but this really takes a lack of common sense to a whole new level."
A police spokesman said: "Nobody was hurt but when someone nearly drives off a cliff that shows a lack of care which needs to be investigated."
Comment: Matter of trust.. or engaging brain?