AIR accident investigators say a gust of wind caused a 70-year-old plane to miss the runway as it tried to land in Herefordshire.

A report which looked into the plane crash at Shobdon Aerodrome, near Leominster, said the pilot, 76, decided not to abort the landing, and instead touched down on unprepared ground.

The crash, at 12.52pm on July 4, 2020 – the day pubs and hairdressers reopened after the first coronavirus lockdown in England – happened after a gust of wind displaced the plane's final approach, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said.

Pilot notes for the plane, an Anro Anson T21 built in 1950 with the registration G-VROE, warned against aborting landing late, so the decision was made to commit to the landing after the sudden gust of wind.

"He stated that a lateral adjustment in G-VROE to compensate for the gust would have resulted in a crabbed touchdown and possible ground loop," the report said of the pilot, who was uninjured.

"Consequently, he opted to land on the grass beside the runway. He felt confident that the landing surface was safe, and there was no other traffic nearby."

Analysis from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found that aborting the landing and going around would have been possible.

"The investigation did not determine why the aircraft completed its landing roll further right on Taxiway A, rather than returning to the runway," it added.

The flight information service officer at Shobdon said he had flown earlier that day and remember it was "a bit gusty".

He said that because of his viewing angle, it was only in the "last few seconds" that he noticed the plane was about to miss the runway, not leaving any time to tell the pilot.

But the pilot, who had flown from Coventry, felt changing the flightpath would have lead to handling difficulties after landing.