A FLYING instructor and his pupil were lucky to survive after their light aircraft crashed into Yorkshire's highest peak at more than 100mph, a report has found.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the crew were rescued nearly five hours after the Cessna plane crashed in thick fog near the summit of Ingleborough, near Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales.

The 55-year-old instructor and his pupil, 31, both suffered double leg fractures in the crash, after getting lost during a night flying lesson to Kirkby Lonsdale on March 21.

Rescue teams were alerted when the men contacted air traffic control at Blackpool via a mobile phone.

The AAIB report said: "It was fortuitous that the crew had a mobile phone with them and were able to call for help from their remote accident site. The crew were both seriously injured, but the outcome could have been worse."

RAF search and rescue pilot Stuart Reeks, who helped locate the pair, said with visibilty at 10ft they maintained contact with the pair using radio. Mr Reeks said: “It was simply a case of playing the louder quieter game until we got close enough to work out where they were.”

“They remained calm far more than most. It would have been scary and disorientating on the hill on their own, but they kept up a positive mental attitude."

After the RAF abandoned the search due to bad weather, 36 members of Clapham Cave Rescue continued the hunt. The pair were found at midnight and carried off the moorland on stretchers at 4.30am.

Mr Reeks said: “To have survived flying into a hill is nothing short of incredible."