MYSTERY still surrounds the cause of a plane crash near Salisbury in May from which a Devizes man escaped with minor injuries.

Richard Kenelm Davies, of Caird Lawns, walked from the wreckage of his Jodel single-engined plane after it crash-landed into a pig shelter shortly after taking off from Old Sarum airfield on May 23.

The 53-year-old man who was piloting the plane also escaped with minor injuries.

A newly published report by the Air Accident Investig-ation Branch pinpoints three possible causes for the engine problems – faults with the ignition or fuel system or ice in the carburettor – but is unable to indicate the cause with certainty.

The report says the 1995-built Jodel aircraft owned by Mr Davies, who was the passenger during the flight, took off from Old Sarum but that the engine started misfiring.

It says the pilot, who had 243 hours flying experience, had prepared the aircraft for the flight but that there were initial difficulties starting the engine and on take-off. When the engine’s rpm (revolutions per minute) fell, the pilot identified a field for a forced landing.

However, the report says the aircraft was too low to reach the field and ultimately touched down on a pig farm, collided with a pig shelter and came to rest upside down, leaving the pilot and passenger unable to get out until a roof panel was removed. The aircraft was severely damaged.

Mr Davies was unavailable for comment.