An unexpected wind gust has been blamed for a 70-year-old plane crash landing on a West Norfolk airfield.
The comment is contained in an official air accident report, published on Thursday, into the incident, which happened at the Great Massingham airfield last summer.
Although the plane, a 1946 Auster, was badly damaged, its 72-year-old pilot escaped unhurt.
The report said that, as the aircraft touched down, it began to drift left and the pilot, who had 399 hours flying experience, was unable to prevent it entering long grass by the edge of the runway.
It continued: “The left landing gear came into contact with some large stones, which were not visible to the pilot, and the aircraft abruptly tipped forward with the propeller coming into contact with the ground.
“When the aircraft fell back onto its landing gear, further damage was caused to the tail and fuselage.
“The engine had stopped so the pilot made the aircraft safe and vacated it normally.”
The pilot, who was not named in the document, thought the initial drift was probably caused by a gust of wind, and that, having relaxed after landing, he felt he was too slow to respond.
The report added that the pilot considered he should have applied power and gone around as soon as the aircraft began to drift.