Search for pilot suspended after English Channel crash

Locator map of plane crash

A search for the pilot of an aircraft that crashed into the English Channel has been suspended for the night.

The American-registered plane carrying one person came down about 15 miles off Dungeness in Kent at 14:30 BST.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said a French helicopter had found the wreckage of the light aircraft.

The alarm was raised after the plane, which was heading from Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire to Le Touquet in northern France, was overdue.

Fading light caused British and French rescuers to call off attempts to find the missing pilot. A decision will be taken on Monday morning about what to do next.

The incident happened four miles inside UK waters and the search and rescue operation is being led by British authorities assisted by the French.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it had sent a team to collect evidence and begin an inquiry into what happened.

"The position of the aircraft will determine if the full investigation will be led by the AAIB or the French authorities," a spokesman said.

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