Mystery remains over the cause of vintage plane crash

A MYSTERY remains over the cause of an oil pressure drop which forced the pilot of a vintage aircraft owned by a Westfield man to make an emergency landing in a field at Hollingbourne.

A newly-published air crash report fails to identify what made the oil pressure in the 1941 built Gipsy Major – reg G AMTF – owned by Hamish Armour Deans Monro of Wheel Park Farm, Wheel Lane, Westfield, plummet to nothing.

The incident happened on the morning of November 30 last year as the aircraft was being flown from Headcorn Airfield to Spanhoe Airfield near Corby in Northamptonshire.

The report says the 56-year-old pilot, who had 409 hours flying experience, was en-route when he noticed smoke coming from the engine and the oil pressure dropped to zero.

The report continues : “The pilot throttled back and checked each magneto but to no avail.

“Shortly afterwards, a large amount of smoke appeared on the left side of the cowling and oil ran down the side of the fuselage.

“He noticed that the oil pressure had dropped to zero or close to zero and realised that a forced landing was now inevitable.

“He selected a field, although his choice was limited by power and telephone lines, as well as crops and trees.

“The aircraft touched down in the field and rolled into a hedge and fence at the end at an estimated speed of 5-10 mph.

“The pilot was unhurt and telephoned Headcorn to advise them, having previously broadcast a Mayday call to them.”