Cornwall

Aircraft crashes on to runway at Royal Navy Air Day

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Media captionThe pilot walked away from the wreckage uninjured

An aircraft has crashed on to the runway at the Royal Navy Culdrose Air Day in Cornwall.

The pilot of the Royal Navy Sea Fury, Lieutenant Commander Chris Gotke, walked away uninjured.

Eyewitnesses reported that the aircraft appeared to lose power and made an emergency landing. The final flying displays at RNAS Culdrose were stopped after the crash.

The Royal Navy said the "investigation process has been initiated".

The aircraft, from the Royal Navy Historic Flight at Yeovilton, is now sitting just off the runway, cordoned off and surrounded by fire appliances.

Image copyright Andy Aitchinson
Image caption The plane's undercarriage collapsed and it slid on to grass beside the runway

Eyewitness Andy Aitcheson, said: "The plane came straight in to land but his wheels never came fully down. The wheels then just dropped and then touched the ground.

"His undercarriage collapsed and rolled into the grass. Fortunately, the pilot walked away very quickly."

'Spontaneous applause'

George Bacon, the Culdrose Air Day commentator, said: "I was just delighted that neither the pilot nor anyone in the crowd was in any danger. The pilot recovered very well.

"It was a real pleasure to see him jump out, and he was very sprightly, which was an enormous relief to everyone."

He said a spontaneous round of applause from onlookers followed.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "We can confirm that an historic display aircraft at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose's Air Day has carried out an unplanned but controlled landing.

"There are no injuries to the Royal Navy pilot nor to any members of the public in attendance.

"All relevant organisations have been informed and the investigation process has been initiated so it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Image copyright Paul Mahoney
Image caption Royal Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Chris Gotke walked away uninjured after the crash

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