Plane-crash pilot has lucky escape

Lucky escape... John Brompton  112596b
Lucky escape... John Brompton 112596b
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A PILOT walked away without a scratch after he crash landed his plane in a field near Scarborough yesterday.

John Brompton, 62, had just a minute to land his single-seater light aircraft, after his engine malfunctioned leaving the plane completely without power at 1,500 feet.

He picked a field around a mile south of Hunmanby, close to the Wold Top Brewery, and after making an emergency Mayday call touched down in a crop field.

A helicopter, the ambulance service, firefighters and police raced to the scene, but found Mr Brompton, of Bridlington, safe and well.

Following the dramatic landing at around 2:30pm, he said: “I was at 1,500 feet and the engine just stopped.

“I checked the instruments and nothing was untoward - the drive belt from the engine to the fuel pump had gone.

“Then it was just a matter of making the emergency call and picking a field.

“All the training that I had done just kicked in. The landing was surprisingly smooth. I was expecting the plane to turn over, but it came to a stop after about 50 yards. I was lucky, the corn could have wrapped around the undercarriage.

“Yes, you are nervous, but you just hope you pull it off.”

Mr Brompton, who was in the RAF for 36 years and has 45 years of flying experience, bought the Slingsby Tipsy Nipper T-66 aircraft after he retired. He now flies for fun two or three times a week.

“I’d taken off from Linley Hill, near Beverley, and I’d just been doing a few aerobatics,” he said. “I was planning on flying to Eddsfield for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. It’s very rare to have a malfunction like that.

“They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one. I’m lucky to have walked away with only dented pride. It definitely won’t put me off flying again.”

Remarkably, the aircraft was undamaged with the exception of the broken drive belt.

Mr Brompton, who said he had not even suffered any bruises, plans to contact his insurance company before working out how to transport the plane from the field.