A pilot was dragged from a burning plane yesterday after the light aircraft he was flying crashed into a car, Essex fire service said.
The single-engine AT3 clipped the back of a Volvo X60 as the man struggled to land at North Weald Airfield.
Two people in the car turned rescuer and saved him from the burning wreckage.
Volunteer fire crews were at the airfield for a drag race event so were able to immediately tackle the blaze.
The pilot, who is in his 40s, was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, with facial and back injuries and a suspected fractured leg.
A fire service spokesman said: “An onlooker who saw the incident told us that the plane appeared to come into land but immediately took off again, banking over the top of a hangar before coming back to try a second landing and clipping the back of a brand new Volvo with two people inside who were driving out of the airfield.” The two people in the car were unhurt.
Station Officer Len Cleary said: “The pilot was lucky. It appears that the two people in the car brought him clear of the fire after the collision.
“It is not clear at this stage whether the incident was caused by mechanical failure or human error.”