Injured Canons Ashby pilot named as south Northants watchmaker to the stars

Police at the scene of the plane crash in Canons Ashby.
Police at the scene of the plane crash in Canons Ashby.

The pilot who crashed in a vintage plane at National Trust-owned Canons Ashby House yesterday, Monday, has been named as Moreton Pinkney resident Giles English – the owner of a high-end watch firm favoured by film and television stars.

Mr English founded the Bremont Watch Company, an award-winning British luxury watch manufacturer, with his brother Nick in 2002.

He was flying the 1930 Gipsy Moth light-aircraft yesterday when it suffered engine failure and crashed in a field at Canons Ashby House just over one mile from his home.

Mr English is a co-owner of the 83-year-old light-aircraft purchased in January this year.

The 11-year-old boy, who was a passenger in the vintage aircraft, has been named as Oliver Nuttall.

A spokesman for Bremont today praised Mr English for “an incredible job” after he crash landed the plane in a field. The spokesman said both casualties are “on the road to recovery”.

The accident comes after Mr English’s father died in a fatal air crash in March 1995.

Mr English’s brother, Nick, and father, Dr Euan English, were training for an air show in their World War Two Harvard and while practising formation aerobatics they got stuck in an “inverted spin” and crashed, killing Euan.

Nick broke more than 30 bones in the accident.

An ex-RAF pilot, Euan taught the brothers to fly and was active in the historic aircraft industry.

The pair went on to form Bremont and now make watches worn by leading celebrities including Tom Cruise, Orlando Bloom and Hugh Laurie.

The firm makes aviation-themed chronometers.

A statement from the watch company said: “We are sorry to say that yesterday morning Giles English and his young passenger, Oliver Nuttall, were involved in a vintage aircraft accident near to their home airfield in Northamptonshire following an engine failure.

“They were only a mile away from landing and reports are that Giles did an incredible job at putting the aircraft down in some very difficult terrain. Both pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries but thankfully both are on the road to recovery.”

Today, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed a formal investigation will be carried out “via correspondence”.

It means investigators were not sent to the crash scene and the probe will now be carried out through a series of interviews.

Wreckage was removed from the site last night.