Vintage plane pilot dies in Air Show Crash


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The Independent Online

The pilot of a vintage plane has died after plummeting to the ground just 300 yards in front of spectators.

The man, who is said to be in his 40s, will not be named until a coroner’s inquest opens, according to a police spokesman.

The crash happened soon after takeoff during a display at the Old Warden Aerodrome, near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

The incident occurred just a few hundred yards from a crowd of around 600 aviation fans watching a military pageant.

Police said they worked closely with the East of England Ambulance Service and the fire and rescue team to try and save the pilot - but that he was pronounced dead not long after the rescue operation began.

The crash is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch who are keen to understand the cause, they said,

“A team of inspectors have been dispatched to the site to determine the circumstances behind the accident.”

The plane, a de Havilland DH 53 Humming Bird, was made in the 1920s and crashed while taking part in the display put on by the Shuttleworth Collection, an aviation museum.

It is believed to be the only surviving DH53 Humming Bird, and was originally built for air trials in 1923.

The museum confirmed that the aircraft had experienced technical difficulties and had crashed.

In a statement the Shuttleworth Collection said, “Emergency services and the air ambulance were called to the scene and one casualty [was] airlifted to hospital."

The Shuttleworth Collection depicts the history of flight from the early 1900s up to the 1950s and is famous for its regular flying displays.