Investigators’ report explains why plane crashed into chicken farm by Enstone Airfield

Investigators believe a disruption between the fuel supply and the engines was the most likely cause of a plane crashing into a chicken farm by Enstone Airfield last year.

A passenger was taken to hospital with burns and a fractured spine while the pilot suffered minor burns in the crash at Woodview Farm on June 26, 2018.

The wreckage of the plane crash on a farm by Enstone Airfield. Photo: AAIB NNL-190426-123000001

The wreckage of the plane crash on a farm by Enstone Airfield. Photo: AAIB NNL-190426-123000001

The pair managed to escape the wreckage from the rear cabin door after coming down shortly after take-off at the airfield, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report published this month.

The Cessna 414 burst into flames and the ‘intense’ fire destroyed the plane and part of the barn, while a ‘substantial’ number of chickens also died.

“Shortly after taking off from Enstone Airfield, and while in a climbing turn to the right, the right engine stopped,” the report says.

“The aircraft descended and returned to the airfield, crossing the runway at a low height before crashing into a poultry farm on the north side of the airfield.

Emergency services at a chicken farm by Enstone Airfield where a plane crashed into one of the buildings NNL-180627-091856001

Emergency services at a chicken farm by Enstone Airfield where a plane crashed into one of the buildings NNL-180627-091856001

“The aircraft and part of the poultry farm were destroyed in the subsequent fire. The pilot and passenger both sustained minor injuries.”

The pilot had flown from Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon with two passengers with no issues.

As he went to return at around 1.20pm with one less person onboard, the left engine stopped as they were about to take-off then the right engine also stopped, so the pilot restarted them both and tried again.

During the ‘right climbing turn’, the right engine lost power but a boost was enough to get them back to the ground so he turned around.

However the engine soon stopped altogether so the pilot had to attempt a forced landing in a ploughed field north of the airfield.

Unfortunately the left engine did not have enough power to make it so the plane crashed into the farm buildings.

The report concludes: “With sufficient fuel onboard for the aircraft to complete the flight, the most likely cause of the left engine stopping during the aborted takeoff, and the right engine stopping during the accident flight, was a disruption in the fuel supply between the fuel tanks and engine fuel control units.

“The reason for this disruption could not be established but it is noted that the fuel system in this design is more complex than in many light twin-engine aircraft.”