A farming family was given a shock when a small plane crashed into one of their fields.

The aircraft, which was carrying two people, came down at Grove Farm, Stanmore, on its way back to Elstree Aerodrome.

It was forced to make the emergency landing after suffering suspected engine failure during a routine trip.

Both the pilot and passenger were unharmed, though the plane’s wheel broke off and the wing was damaged.

Jo Clifford, who runs the Stanmore Riding School based at the farm, said: “They were on their way back to Elstree when they were forced to land.

“This was the only place they could see and, as they hit the ground, the wheel got stuck and they spun round. But both the men [in the plane] were fine.”

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed that it was looking into the matter and was carrying out proceedings via correspondence as opposed to sending out a team of investigators.

It could not give a firm date of when a report is likely to be logged on its website, but explained how the average waiting time was three months.

Lisa Clifford, who runs the farm with her husband, Kevin, said she had “missed out on all the drama” but was delighted to hear that nobody was harmed.

She added that several horses, who had been in the field at the time of the crash, were spooked by the events but quickly calmed down.

The plane, which left deep mud tracks due to the nature of the landing, is expected to be removed in the next couple of days.