A pilot from nearby Milton Keynes had a miraculous escape when his plane ran out of fuel mid-air and crash-landed into a hedge in Towcester.
The 47-year-old man had checked the fuel gauge before he took off and judged the tank to be half full, a newly published Air Accident Investigation Branch report has revealed.
He thought this would be enough for his planned short trip to Sywell, said the report.
But he felt the engine of the Pitts aerobatic biplane lose power as he was flying over Towcester, shortly after take off, in October last year.
The report said: “He selected a field to land in but there was insufficient distance to complete the landing.
“The aircraft struck a hedge at the far end and came to a halt.”
The impact damaged the wings but the pilot walked away unharmed.
Investigations have failed to determined whether the fuel crisis was due to a leaky pipe or the pilot misreading the gauge initially.
Although it has subsequently been discovered that a fuel union on the carburettor was loose, it is not possible to determined whether this was due to the accident of was a pre-existing defect,” said the report.
The pilot bought the plane in 2016 to use it for aerobatic competition flying.