Pilot and boy injured in light aircraft crash in Northamptonshire

An eyewitness has described the moment she heard “big bang” and saw a light aircraft crash into a Northamptonshire field

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th August 2013, 5:45 pm
Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Rosie Nichols was riding near Canons Ashby House, near Daventry, when she saw the accident at about 11.45am today.

She said: “Me and my friend were out riding and we saw it come down and heard a bang. It wasn’t too high when we saw it and then we just heard this big bang.”

The pilot of the plane and the passenger, an 11-year-old boy, were both airlifted to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, following the accident.

The Gipsy Moth plane moments before it crashed. Photo by Clive Goodwin.

The boy was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, while the man was taken to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

This photo (left) shows the plane moments before it crashed. Photo by Clive Goodwin

The plane is a De Havilland Gipsy Moth, a light aircraft from the 1930s which was based at nearby Turweston, and registered in neighbouring Moreton Pinkney.

Neighbours reported at least three helicopters were sent to the scene, including the air ambulance, while around five fire engines, as well as police cars and ambulances attended the crash.

Police at the scene of the plane crash in Canons Ashby.

Eyewitness Ben Nichols, aged 19, described the moment the engine of the plane sounded like it “cut out” while performing a loop.

He said: “We saw it go up and it looked like it was climbing. It just looked like it cut out and it came down and it crashed into the next field and it has been smashed up a bit. It made a bit of a thump.

“It looked like it went to do a loop and it sounded like the engine cut out. It looks like they had to cut the cockpit to get them out.

“The ambulances were here so quickly. Within 15 minutes there were three helicopters, five fire engines, three ambulances and a couple of police cars.”

Plane crash, Canons Ashby. 12/8/13

Another eyewitness, John Flavell, aged 75, of Conduit Cottage, Canons Ashby, said: “I was out in the garden doing some weeding and I saw this little plane come over my house.

“I saw it circling around and then saw it spiralling down. I heard a sudden revving of the engine, and I thought he was doing stunts first of all. Then it burbled and went into the ground.

“I was horrified. There was no smoke, so it didn’t catch fire.”

Writing on its Twitter page, Canons Ashby House said: “Our thoughts are with those affected by the light aircraft crash today in the parkland. Nothing was damaged in the house or gardens.

“Thankfully no visitors have been affected and the property is undamaged. Our thoughts go out to the injured and their families.”

A police spokesman said: “The pilot of a light aircraft that crashed at Canons Ashby in south Northamptonshire this morning has now been airlifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

“Both he and the 11-year-old boy who was a passenger in the plane are believed to have serious but non-life threatening injuries.

“Arrangements are now being made for the plane to be removed from the site. This is expected to take place this afternoon.”

An East Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received the emergency 999 call at 11.44am reporting that a light aircraft had crashed in Daventry.

“Our emergency operations centre immediately dispatched highly-skilled clinicians in a fast response vehicle, two air ambulances and an ambulance was sent by South Central Ambulance Service.

“Two people were reported to be in the aircraft at the time of the incident. Hospitals were pre-alerted that the patients would be coming to them for emergency assessment and treatment.

“Both air ambulances provided journeys to hospital. One male patient was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the other male patient was flown to the major trauma centre in Coventry.”