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RAF jet in cockpit fumes alert

An RAF jet was forced into an emergency landing at a major commercial airport after fumes filled the cockpit.

Two Hawk aircraft were diverted to Newcastle Airport at around 11am on Tuesday after one of the cockpits began to fill with smoke.

As a result, a Sea King helicopter, based at RAF Boulmer, was dispatched to fly the pilot straight to hospital for precautionary checks.

An RAF spokesman said: "The RAF can confirm a Hawk aircraft from RAF Leeming diverted to Newcastle Airport this morning with a technical issue that resulted in fumes in the cockpit. The aircraft landed safely.

"The pilot of the aircraft has been transferred for precautionary medical checks."

The pilot was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he was checked over by doctors.

A Newcastle Airport spokesman said: "Two RAF Hawk aircraft from RAF Leeming landed earlier at Newcastle Airport. Both aircraft landed safely and there has been no disruption to the operation as a result."

Northumbria Police said concerns had been raised about an aircraft at 11am but they received reports that it had landed safely six minutes later.

The Hawk aircraft is the RAF's advanced trainer and famously has been used by the Red Arrows since 1979.

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