A pilot who was left seriously injured in an accident where his plane flipped over and landed on top of him at a County Durham airfield should have abandoned his take-off earlier, a report has said.

The 68-year-old pilot was attempting to take off from Fishburn Airfield in County Durham at 11.30am on June 21 this year when the incident happened.

He was left with a fractured vertebra and the aircraft was left with substantial damage, including the engine separating from the body of the plane after it overturned in a corn field near the runway.

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According to a report into what happened at the small airfield near Sedgefield, the pilot realised he was heading off course mid-way through take off and is said to have “over-corrected in both directions”.

The plane, a light aircraft called a Taylor Monoplane, was just about airborne when the pilot tried to fly out of the situation but had insufficient height and speed.

The small aircraft flew into a corn field to the north of runway where the plane overturned and came to rest on top of him, after the wheels touched the crops.

The pilot, who was the only person on board the 1990-built plane at the time, was left seriously injured with a fractured vertebra.

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In a report into the incident published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch the pilot said he believes he “should have closed the throttle and abandoned the take off earlier”.

The pilot described “extremely poor” forward visibility on the day of the incident, and so had been using the side of the runway to help with his direction when he realised he was going off course.

No one else was injured in the incident.

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