Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Classic fighter planes collide in mid-air

US fighter planes pictured seconds before two collided in mid-air

Two classic US fighter planes have collided during an air display, organisers said.

The military aircraft were taking part in an annual Flying Legends show in Cambridgeshire when they clipped wings over agricultural land.

The accident sent one plane plummeting to the ground and forced its pilot to bale out before parachuting to safety.

The craft, reported to be a P-51 Mustang, came down to the south west of RAF Duxford, just after 5pm on Sunday.

The second plane was able to fly on and land. No-one was injured.

Mark Brown, a pilot from Warminster who witnessed the crash, told CambridgeFirst how the second aircraft, a Skyraider, lost a "large chunk of its wing tip" which fell to the ground.

He said the crash happened after three planes formed a triangle before peeling off to the left.

"As they did that the leader and the one that was following clipped each other," he said. "It went into a bit of a dive then sorted itself out. The other aircraft dived away from the airfield. They were only about 100 feet at this point.

"Then we saw someone jump out and a parachute open."

A spokesman for the show's organisers, Imperial War Museum Duxford, said: "The pilots of both aircraft are safe and have been treated by the Ambulance Service. The cause of the incident will now be investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and the museum is therefore not able to comment on the likely cause."

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