A blood-covered pilot and his passenger were saved from a crashed plane soaked in potentially-explosive fuel by courageous holidaymakers from a caravan park near the Oxenhope airfield where the accident happened, it has emerged.
Some 20 men and women scrambled over barbed wire fencing and raced to the upturned two-seater private plane which had rolled over at the end of a runway after landing.
Bradford Council building supervisor Geoff Binns became caught up in the drama which began when the plane crashed at 4pm on Sunday, and told what happened.
“It was a beautiful day and we were all outside when suddenly there was a big bang,” said Mr Binns, who has a permanently-pitched caravan at Upwood Holiday Park.
“About 20 of us, gents and ladies, got across a barbed wire fence and ran over to the plane.
“It looked as if its propeller had gone down, got stuck in mud and it had flipped right over 180 degrees from nose to tail,” Mr Binns said.
“When I got to the plane both the men were being carefully taken out of the cockpit which was being crushed by the weight of the plane.
“Some guys were trying to lift the plane up to help get them out.
“They both had head injuries and were covered with blood,” said trained first-aider Mr Binns.
“The pilot, who was in his 60s, was talking and seemed OK although he did say his arm and shoulder hurt and there was a tingle down his leg, but I think a lot of that was probably shock.
“His passenger was older and more badly hurt with a big gash on his head and was saying he couldn’t feel his legs.
“However, things then got pretty serious because there was a really bad smell of aviation fluid coming from the plane.
“A girl was talking to emergency services on her mobile and told them about the fuel everywhere.
“We were told to move them immediately along the lines of – if it goes up, you’re all dead. I took the older man’s head and six of us lifted him up and carried him 20ft or so away.
“Then we heard the siren of a paramedic arriving in his car and he took over as an ambulance and helicopter arrived.
“The emergency services were all there in under 15 minutes and were superb,” Mr Binns said.
“Nobody gave their own safety a moment’s thought, just ran over to help get the men out of danger,” said Mr Binns, who regularly stays at his caravan with wife Kathleen and their grandchildren.
Air accident investigators are now looking into the incident which happened at the private airfield beside Black Moor Road, Oxenhope.
Two men were taken to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance. One is thought to be from Settle, and the other is 67. Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
A spokesman for the airfield’s owners said they would not be commenting on the incident.