70-year old pilot in Flintshire plane crash drama

Reporter:

Jim Green

A LUCKY 70-year-old pilot escaped without a scratch after crashing his microlight aircraft into a field.

Huw Lloyd-Jones was forced to make an emergency landing when his engine failed at 1,200 feet.

It flipped onto its roof as he attempted to land in a field near Mold but he walked away unharmed.

Huw Lloyd-Hughes, 70, from Gwernymynydd, had to attempt a forced landing when his engine failed at 1,200 feet.

His two-seater X-Air plane flipped on to its roof as he tried to land in a field at Ty Draw Farm on Black Brook Road, Sychdyn, near Mold on Monday evening.

Police and the ambulance service raced to the scene but found Mr Lloyd-Hughes was unharmed.

“There isn’t a scratch or bruise on my body and the aircraft is virtually unscathed so I feel very lucky,” he said.

“I was flying towards Mold at about 8.50pm when the engine lost 90 per cent of its power.

“I looked down and spotted the field, which was previously used by microlight aircraft, so attempted to land the plane.

“Unfortunately I didn’t realise the size of the crop in the field and it snagged the plane forcing it to flip over.”

Mr Lloyd-Hughes said he was hanging upside down for two minutes before he managed to free himself.

Darren Howatson, whose mother Tesni Howatson owns Ty Draw Farm, was one of the first on the scene.

“I got a phone call off my mum just before 9pm on Monday to say I’d better come home because there was a plane upside down in the field,” he said.

Farmer Sarah Ellis, who took a picture of the aircraft on its roof, said: “When we arrived the pilot was a bit shaken up but he was unharmed so we just flipped the plane the right way up.”

Mr Lloyd-Hughes, who has been flying for more than 20 years, said it was the
first time he had to attempt a forced landing.

“Microlight pilots regularly practise forced landings so obviously the training paid
off,” he said.

“Of course you always need a bit of luck but the incident hasn’t put me off flying at all. If anything it is reassuring to know I can handle situations like this.”

Mystified residents backing on to the field told The Leader they were not aware of
the incident.

Sue Harper, of Milford Street, said: “I didn’t hear anything and nobody has said anything to me about it. I actually own one of the fields at the back so I guess I’m
lucky it didn’t land in my field.”

Pamela Morrlle, of Bro Alun, said: “My house is close to the Bridge Inn which is near to the field and I was at home on Monday night but I didn’t hear anything.”

But Mold councillor Tim Maunders, who also lives in Milford Street, said: “I wasn’t at home at the time but I was told about the crash.

“I believe the engine cut out and the pilot was looking for a green patch to land on.”
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 10pm to Black
Brook Road, Sychdyn, on Monday, following reports a microlight had crashed into a field. A rapid response vehicle and emergency ambulance attended the scene.

“A patient was treated at the scene by ambulance crews, no one was taken to hospital.”

Officers from North Wales Police also attended the scene.

Mr Lloyd-Hughes, a retired teacher, said he was very grateful to the Howatson family for their help.

He removed the aircraft from the field on Tuesday.

See full story in the Leader

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