AN INVESTIGATION into a crash involving an aircraft in a field in Astley earlier this year has found it was caused by a "loss of power".

However, the cause of the drop in power "could not be determined" by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

A large emergency services presence was called after the crash on the afternoon of Sundaym May 29, after the crash in a field just off Rindle Road.

Two men suffered "serious injuries" in the crash.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch has said that the aircraft, a Tecnam P92-EM Echo, lost power after having set off from Barton Aerodrome.

A summary of the findings stated: "The aircraft had taken off uneventfully from Runway 26L and at around 750 ft agl and approximately two miles from the airport the engine lost power.

"The engine did not respond to the pilot’s throttle commands, and the engine speed dropped to idle. The pilot recalled checking that both fuel tanks were selected, and that the carburettor heat, the fuel pump and both magnetos were all set to on.

"He selected a field for a forced landing, however the aircraft flipped over when the nosewheel contacted the soft ground. The pilot sustained serious injuries in the accident.

"After the accident the engine was ran satisfactorily on a test bench. The cause of the power loss could not be determined."

After the crash, Greater Manchester Police said: "Both occupants of the aircraft – two men aged in their 50s and 70s - have been taken to hospital with serious injuries that thankfully aren’t believed to be life-threatening."

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: "Just before 1.30pm, five fire engines from Farnworth, Leigh, Irlam and Atherton, along with a Technical Response Unit from Leigh were called to reports of an aircraft crash on Rindle Road, Tyldesley.”

“Crews quickly arrived at the scene and worked to make the area safe.

“Firefighters using trauma equipment and a longboard worked with colleagues from the North West Ambulance Service to treat two people at the scene, before they were taken to the hospital.”