TWO people were injured and taken to hospital when a light aircraft crashed on landing at a Northumberland airfield at the weekend.
The 50-year-old male pilot and his 20-year-old female passenger were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle after their microlight hit the runway and flipped over at Eshott Airfield near Felton, Northumberland on Saturday afternoon.
The pilot suffered bad bruising to his chest and was discharged from hospital yesterday, while the woman was undergoing an operation to pin a broken arm.
The incident happened as the hang-glider-type microlight was coming in to land behind a helicopter, after a flying lesson.
Air turbulence caused by the hovering helicopter’s blades interrupted the microlight’s descent, causing it to drop about 20ft on to the ground.
It bounced on its undercarriage and then turned over on to the grass at the side of the runway.
Yesterday Eshott airfield owner Storm Smith said the microlight was being flown by an experienced pilot and instructor.
“This sort of incident is rare but we know it can happen. Thankfully he escaped with bad bruising, while his passenger suffered a broken arm.”
Fire crews and ambulance paramedics attended the scene after the crash, which happened at about 1.45pm. Yesterday Northumbria Police said inquiries were being carried out by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).
The incident comes six months after trainee pilot Paul Carvell threw himself out of his microlight moments before it crashed and burst into flames at Eshott Airfield.
Mr Carvell, 44, from Blyth, abandoned the aircraft as it hurtled along the ground toward a hangar, suffering a broken leg and torn ligaments when it ran over him. A report by the AAIB – based on Mr Carvell’s evidence and CCTV footage of the crash – said his applying the brakes and throttle failed to bring the craft under control.