The wings were torn off the single engined, four-seat plane when it landed, and several cars collided as drivers tried to avoid the wreckage. The fuselage ended up on the hard shoulder and four tourists on a German-registered coach, which crashed into the aircraft, were slightly injured.
The pilot, named later as Paul Wisely, 46, a married man from Egerton, near Ashford, Kent, was flown to hospital with back injuries, but was reported to be in a stable condition. It is believed he was practising take-offs and landings. Bruce Jarvis, a paramedic, said: 'He turned to go back to the airport because the engine stalled or there was some other engine trouble. He just missed the trees on the London-bound side and missed all the traffic before coming down with a full tank of fuel which somehow never caught fire. Someone up in heaven was really on his side.'