Video: Pilot crash-lands after plane's engine cuts out at 300ft

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A cockpit camera has captured the terrifying moment a microlight's engine cuts out in mid-air, forcing the pilot to make an emergency crash-landing.

Aviator John Merriman, 53, was making a solo flight in his two-seater microlight aircraft above the Somerset countryside this month when the incident occurred.

Soaring at 300ft and at a steady speed of 50 knots, it was John's second flight of the day.

But 11 minutes into the flight, the engine suddenly cut out, bringing the propeller to a juddering halt and filling the cockpit with an eerie silence.

But Mr Merriman stays extremely calm while he sends a mayday over his headset radio.

He tries to glide back down, but with overhead power lines directly in his path, he dips the nose at the last minute and crash-lands at 50mph near a herd of cows.

Mr Merriman, who has only been flying for six months, told the Daily Mail: "I told myself "Don't panic - remember your training.

"It was pretty hair-raising but I had no choice - you've only got one shot at doing it right or you're in big trouble.

"The plane will just drop out of the sky like a brick, and that will be the end of you."

The Daily Telegraph reports he added: "When I saw the electricity pylon and the cables stretching across the field I knew I wouldn't make it over them.

"I dipped the nose as far as I could and descended as fast as possible. When I hit the ground at 50mph, the ruts in the field catapulted the plane forward and almost threw me out of the cockpit."

According to the Metro, the microlight indeed hit a tractor rut tearing off the front undercarriage and nose cone before grinding to a halt.

The crash wrote off the £5,000 aircraft, although Mr Merriman "didn't even bruise a knuckle".

The crash happened on 4 October, but Mr Merriman, who only had to do a couple more hours' flight time to get his pilot's licence, bought another microlight soon after.

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell


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