Pilot, 80, makes forced landing

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 10 June 2010

A FORCED landing helped avoid ditching in the estuary when an Exmouth field was chosen by a pensioner pilot as an ideal emergency landing site for his light aircraft, which was close to running out of fuel. Estate agent Bruce Penny, of Pennys, in Rolle

A FORCED landing helped avoid ditching in the estuary when an Exmouth field was chosen by a pensioner pilot as an ideal emergency landing site for his light aircraft, which was close to running out of fuel.Estate agent Bruce Penny, of Pennys, in Rolle Street, was amazed when a local farmer who rents his estuary-side 14-acre field telephoned him to say a small aeroplane had made an emergency landing on the Courtlands Lane land.The light aircraft was piloted by a Torquay man, believed to be in his 80s, who had been forced to land in Mr Penny's field when the aircraft's fuel gauge dropped dangerously low.Since the light aircraft's temporary stay in Exmouth, the pensioner pilot has been making daily trips to see his aeroplane and prepare it for takeoff.Mr Penny, 50, said the man was waiting for the wind to change before taking to the sky."He was flying his light aircraft back home when it ran out of fuel as he was approaching the estuary. He had to make a quick decision to make an emergency landing," said Mr Penny."The pilot was picked up by his wife and has been back to refuel the plane. He's turned it around and is waiting for a strong wind to take off."He landed in the first field he could find - otherwise he would have ended up in the estuary!"It's a bit unusual. You don't tend to find planes making emergency landings in Exmouth. I'm just glad he didn't crash.


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