Northampton

Towcester plane crash: Light aircraft had run out of fuel

Plane crashed Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The forced landing was described as "only partially successful".

A light aircraft made a forced landing in a field and crashed into a hedge after running out of fuel.

The S-1S Pitts Special was flying from Turweston, Buckinghamshire, to Sywell, Northamptonshire, when the pilot tried to land in field near Towcester.

But the field was too short to complete the landing and his aircraft came to rest in a hedge, damaging the wings.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch an "unmarked fuel gauge" had contributed to the crash last October.

Its report said the pilot "judged that the tank was approximately half-full" ahead of the flight.

It said this should have given the plane 30 minutes' flying time, and that the journey would take approximately 10 minutes.

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But the engine stopped eight minutes into the flight and the 47-year-old pilot made the unplanned landing.

He had bought the plane in October 2016 for aerobatic competition flying.

The report said the installation of new instrument panel with no makings on the fuel gauge made "fuel quantity management difficult".

The pilot was able to walk away from the crash unharmed.

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