Question marks on what caused plane's engine to cut out - resulting in dramatic crash-landing near Honiton

PUBLISHED: 08:50 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 10 July 2019

The Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire Station

The Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire Station

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A plane landed on its roof near Honiton after its engine cut out - but question marks still surround why the failure occurred.

The Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire StationThe Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire Station

A report into the incident found no cause for the engine problem which affected a Cessna 195 flying over Colestocks on January 3 this year.

The plane, manned by a 47-year-old pilot with more than 530 hours of flying experience, nosed onto its back after crash-landing in a field in the rural parish.

The aircraft was travelling from Dunkeswell Airfield to Branscombe Airfield in good weather.

A report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: "Shortly after departure, the engine began to lose power from which it recovered briefly before suffering a total power loss at a position where turning back to the airfield was not an option.

The Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire StationThe Cessna 195 which crash landed in a field between Colestocks and Hembury, on the outskirts of Honiton. Picture: Honiton Fire Station

"The pilot flew towards the lower ground to the west and checked the mixture, throttle and fuel pumps.

"He moved the fuel tank selector to the left, right and then both tanks in turn and recycled both magnetos, all to no effect."

Forced into a landing, the pilot approached a large field in Colestocks and touched down on soft ground.

The report said: "The wheels began to dig in and, on crossing some slightly firmer ground, the pilot thought that the tail was lowering normally.

"However, the wheel dug in heavily and the aircraft nosed over onto its back."

The pilot was uninjured in the incident and exited the aircraft.

Following the crash, photos emerged showing deep gashes into the field where the plane landed.

AAIB investigators looking into the cause of the crash say they have not found the cause for the engine failure.

The plane, manufactured in 1952, sustained propeller, fuselage and cockpit damage.

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