AN 83-year-old pilot walked away unhurt after his vintage aircraft crash-landed into a field by Netheravon Airfield.

Jerome Mostyn, from Stapleford, had to make an emergency landing on September 30 when the engine of his Taylorcraft Auster stopped hundreds of feet above ground level.

The veteran pilot who has more than 1,400 hours flying experience and his passenger, also a pilot, managed to safely land the plane before both walking away uninjured.

Mr Mostyn said: “I was coming in to land at Netheravon where the aircraft is based, after a fiveminute flight from Upavon.

“I was about 400ft high and about half a mile from the end of the runway when the engine failed. We rapidly converted it into a glider, a practised technique for forced landings which involves lowering the nose to keep flying.

“We had a lovely big green field beneath us but unfortunately there was a road running through the middle of it. Fortunately, there was no traffic on the road.

“We hit a little embankment and went through a hedge, coming to a halt.”

He added: “We didn’t have time to be frightened, the whole thing lasted about 20 seconds.”

Part of the undercarriage of the aircraft was damaged in the landing which happened at 1.30pm.

The Auster 5 Air Observation Post of 1957 which was originally owned by the Army Air Corps has since been repaired.

A report into the crash by the Air Accident Investigation Branch which has just been published states: “The pilot attributed the loss of engine power to carburettor icing as a result of a malfunction of the carburettor heat system.”

It is the third time Mr Mostyn has experienced engine failure.

“On the previous occasion we were coming into Cherbourg at 1,500ft, we did the same procedure and we managed to glide it onto the runway,” he said.