Berkshire

Arrest after vehicle damages three planes at Englefield airfield

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAll three planes have been written off as a result of the damage

A man has been arrested after three light aircraft were vandalised at an airfield near Reading.

Thames Valley Police said it appeared a vehicle was driven into the Cessna single engine planes in Englefield.

The three planes have been written off as a result of the damage, estimated by the owners at up to £700,000.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee was discovered set alight nearby, in Bath Road. A 29-year-old man arrested in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, has been bailed.

Buildings at the airfield were also damaged by the planes being pushed into them.

Hare coursing

Police said the planes were a 50 vintage type, a four-seater piston-powered plane and a six-seater light business plane.

The damage was discovered by estate staff shortly after 07:00 BST. They had been told that animals had escaped onto the nearby A4, and found a gate had been forced open.

David Wiggins, gamekeeper at the Englefield Estate, said: "We're pretty sure they were in after hares.

"We've got a lot of problems with hare coursing.

"Not just coursing, but just driving the animals over, running them over, flattening them.

"That's what it started as I guess and then it turned into this damage we've got here."

Peter Ford, owner of the 50 vintage type said: "The guys obviously came with this four-wheel drive, pushed the aircraft into the back of the barn and then came again."

He said his plane's wing had been "snapped off".

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites