Pensioner crashes plane into field near Lancaster after engine cuts out mid-flight

A small two-seater plane crashed into a field near Lancaster after its engines cut out mid-flight.

By Sean Gleaves
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 7:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 7:50 pm

An Aeroprakt A-32 Vixxen crashed into a field near Rossall Airfield shortly after take-off at around 3.30pm on June 28, 2021.

The plane sustained a collapsed nose wheel and damaged propeller, but the pilot - who had 481 hours of flying experience - was able to escape with no injuries

An investigation conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Board discovered the cause of the crash was due to the 71-year-old accidentally closing both fuel tank valves.

An Aeroprakt A-32 Vixxen crashed into a field near Rossall Airfield shortly after take-off. (Photo by Yuriy Novostavskyy)

"The aircraft has a fuel tank in each wing with a valve for each tank situated behind the seats, at shoulder level, on either side of the cockpit," the report stated.

"During the flight the pilot closed the left valve to balance the fuel as more had been used from this tank.

"After landing the pilot decided to do a few circuits and so immediately taxied back to the runway whilst configuring the aircraft.

"Just before commencing the take-off he remembered he had closed a fuel valve and reached behind the seat and moved a fuel valve handle.

"Shortly after take-off, at about 100 ft agl, the engine stopped and the pilot landed the aircraft in a field during which the nosewheel collapsed and the propeller was damaged.

"The pilot secured the aircraft and found that both fuel tank valves were in the closed position."

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