A RARE aeroplane forced to make an emergency landing in Flackwell Heath this week has been sent for repair – after six men struggled for over four hours to get it out of the mud.
The plane, thought to be Chinese Nanchang CJ6A dating from the 1960s, came down in a muddy field in the village during bad weather on Wednesday evening.
Workmen had to put planks of wood under the wheels in a bid to get it up, up and away off the boggy ground and on to a waiting lorry.
Flackwell Heath aviation enthusiast Chris Chennel said the plane's wings were then removed before it was taken off to be fixed.
The 46-year-old, of Chapman Lane, spotted it flying low in the sky while he was filling his car with petrol at Holtspur garage.
He said: “I didn't think anything of it, I thought it was a normal flight going back to Booker or White Waltham, but the weather closed in and there was bad visibility.
“I'm glad the pilot was OK, that's the most important thing, but it was certainly interesting. I wasn't expecting to see it in the middle of a field.”
Mr Chennel went back the following day to see six people – one of whom is believed to be the pilot – try to move it up to 400 yards to get it out of the field.
He said: “They had to put down planks of wood in the field to put the wheels on. They had to keep lifting up the fuselage and push it forward three or four feet and start all over again.
“They had a struggle all day to do it.
“I went up there at about 10.30am and they were trying to work out what to do. They started pulling it at about 11am and it must have taken them until about 2.30-3pm to get it to the corner of the field.”
Describing the damage to the plane, he said: “Part of the propeller was damaged and maybe the undercarriage. It must have hit the field as it landed, but it didn't look too bad. It looked 99 per cent intact.”
It is one of only two planes of its kind in Britain, he added. It is based at White Waltham air park near Maidenhead.
John Walker, airfield manager at White Waltham, said the plane had been taken to its maintenance organisation to be repaired.
He said he did not know where it had been taken however.