Vintage aeroplane crashes into tree as both pilot and passenger break vertebrae

The pilot and passenger of a vintage military aircraft suffered broken vertebrae in the terrifying crash, an official report has revealed.

The Hawker Sea Fury aircraft, which was primarily used by the Royal Navy in the 1940s and 50s, now regularly takes part in Duxford air shows and departed from Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire on August 4 last year.

According to a recent report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), the plane’s engine oil temperature rose and the oil pressure started to fluctuate, causing the engine to seize and the pilot had to make a “forced landing”.

The AAIB report said the pilot had already flown the plane on the morning of the accident for about 15 minutes before departing for the second flight in the afternoon.

The BBC reports that the pilot transmitted a final call to Duxford which said: "Just lost the engine, making a forced landing."

The aircraft hit the ground and bounced, then hit again and skidded across the field.

It slid into a tree on the far side of the field, which spun it around, and it came to rest in a hedgerow.

The pilot, along with the sole passenger, who was a journalist writing an article about the plane, suffered broken vertebrae, but avoided more serious injuries by wearing Kevlar helmets.

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The AAIB said the damage to the engine resulted from the failure of a main engine bearing, with contamination of the oil system "the most likely cause".

It said there were no new safety recommendations following the crash but added pilots should consider practicing forced landings in simulators.

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