A HISTORIC plane that suffered engine failure crash-landed after hitting a telegraph pole and narrowly missing a house, a report has revealed.

The pilot and his passenger both survived the Harrier Sea Fury crash at RNAS Yeovilton in April last year.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report released today (Thursday, May 26) tells how the plane's engine cut out less than six minutes after take off following a low oil pressure indication.

The plane struck the ground after the pilot was unable to reach the runway.

Although it broke into several sections, both occupants extracted themselves without assistance, although the pilot suffered a minor skull fracture.

The report says: "The aircraft initially struck a telegraph pole, having cleared the roof of a nearby house by approximately 6m, before it then struck the ground in a level attitude in an area of paddocks.

"Ground marks showed that the right main landing gear and tail wheel were extended when the aircraft touched down, however the right main wheel then separated from the leg, which folded rearwards underneath the wing.

"The left main landing gear was found retracted in the wing.

"The aircraft slid across the surface of the paddock before striking a hedge which covered a shallow earth berm, causing the wing and engine to separate from the fuselage.

"The length of the wreckage trail from the first ground scar to the engine, which had travelled beyond the fuselage, was 95 m.

"The fuselage came to rest inverted, supported by the fin and the right tailplane."

The pilot and his passengers avoided serious injury due to wearing full military style flying kit and helmets.

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The report adds: "Examination of the pilot’s helmet after the accident showed that it had suffered a significant blow at some point during the accident sequence.

"Although the pilot suffered a small fracture to the skull, the helmet had protected him from a much more serious head injury."

The report concludes that the crash was caused by the rear crank pin bearing overheating, causing the fracture of the rear master rod and destruction of the rear cylinder row components.

It adds: "The point at which the engine seized on the base leg for landing left the pilot with no choice but to complete a forced landing short of the runway.

"Despite not having time to jettison or open the canopies, both pilots were able to vacate the cockpit once the aircraft had come to rest."