Crash Pilot Dodges Houses; ONLOOKERS PAY TRIBUTE TO MAN WHO STEERED PLANE AWAY FROM ESTATE

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH HUGHES

A PILOT narrowly missed crash-landing on a housing estate after the engines failed on his four-seater plane.

The middle-aged American sent out a mayday call after his Beagle Pup light aircraft began to spin out of control.

Moments later he made an emergency landing in a field at a farm in Enfield.

Today the pilot, who had taken off from an airfield in Berkshire, was hailed as a hero for steering clear of houses and the busy East Lodge Lane.

Eyewitness Steve Benny, who runs an antiques business a few metres from where the plane crashed, said: "It's so lucky he managed to land in the field. If he had come down in the road people would have been badly hurt.

"The plane was a write-off but the pilot is a hero for bringing it down safely. The guy's face was a bit battered but he managed to climb out."

Mr Benny added that the pilot's next action stunned nearby watchers.

"Amazingly he then went back to turn the fuel off," he said. "The plane could quite easily have blown up. …