The day my plane suddenly plunged to the ground

A LUCKY pilot from Hucknall has spoken about walking away with only minor injuries after his aircraft nosedived into the ground at 100mph.

John Butler (62), of Polperro Way, was at the controls of his Pegasus XL-Q microlight when the craft inexplicably began to plummet.

Its wheels hit hedgerows and the plane flipped upside down.

The drama unfolded as Mr Butler was coming in to land at at private farmland at Watnall.

A member of staff discovered the prone microlight at the airfield with Mr Butler still inside, firmly strapped into his seat.

He was upside down. But miraculously, he walked away with only a dislocated elbow, broken nose and a few cuts and bruises. And now he says he can’t wait to get back into the skies.

Unfortunately his aircraft was damaged beyond repair, having suffered a snapped wing and a shattered propeller.

Looking back at the crash, which happened on Friday September 3 last year, Mr Butler said: “I didn’t think about dying. My only thought was trying to control the plane.

“It was quite a terrifying moment but these are the risks of flying.

“The plane just dropped like a brick. There was nothing I could do. I tried to increase power to lift it but it didn’t make any difference.”

The crash has come to light because an investigation was launched and The Air Accident Investigation Branch has now published its findings.

The conclusion is that the accident was sudden and unexpected.

The organisation says mystery still surrounds exactly what caused the plane to fall from the sky.

A report adds: “The aircraft impacted the ground heavily at the beginning of a grass strip and came to a rapid halt.”

Mr Butler remains upbeat and says he doesn’t have any fear about taking off in the future.

“I’m not scared about what happened,” he added. “I think flying is a very safe form of travel.

“I hope to fly again one day soon.”