Pilot praised for excellent emergency landing in field

Piper Aircraft that came down in a field near Collingham
Piper Aircraft that came down in a field near Collingham

A PILOT who had to do an emergency landing in fields near Bramham has this week been praised for his heroic actions.

Gordon Elliot, an experienced pilot at Sherburn Aero Club, was flying the aircraft with three other passengers on a sightseeing trip on December 27.

But about an hour after take off from the airfield near Tadcaster, the engine of the Piper Warrior is thought to have failed and Mr Elliot, believed to be in his 60s, managed to steer the plane to safety by performing a controlled emergency landing at about 2pm.

Richard Maxstead, director of Sherburn Aero Club, praised Mr Elliot’s efforts.

He said: “The pilot did an excellent job.

“The real thing I think this helps get across in all of this is the fact that all the training and all the skills that pilots learn mean that even if aircraft equipment fails, a pilot can still make a good controlled landing and have real time to make sure the aircraft is under control.”

A spokesman for Wetherby Police said officers were called to the scene at around 2.15pm and that initial indications suggest the aircraft suffered an engine failure in flight.

The aircraft, is believed to have been badly damaged.

It was recovered by staff at the Aero Club the next day.

An investigation into what caused the accident has been launched by the Department of Transport Investigation Bureau.

Mr Elliot was not available for comment.