Two die in Spitfire crash

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The Independent Online

Two men died when a vintage Spitfire fighter aircraft crashed at an airfield, police said.

The Second World War fighter plane came down at Goodwood airfield, West Sussex, just after 9am today, as it was coming in to land.

Air accident investigators were at the scene.

Police said the victims would not be named until their next of kin had been contacted.

Inspector Andy Kille of Sussex Police said the Spitfire clipped a tree while making what was believed to be its final landing approach.

"At about 9am a two-seater Spitfire took off from Goodwood," he told Sky News.

"It made two or three circuits of the airfield and then a successful touch and go landing, two or three more circuits and it then came in for what we presume was its final landing approach.

"It clipped a tree on the boundary of the airfield which knocked it down into a bank - it then skidded across the Goodwood motor racing circuit, which was not in use at the time.

"It came to rest some 50 or 60 yards short of the runway."

He said one of the men died instantly, and the second died very shortly afterwards, before rescuers could release him from the plane.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "Obviously accident investigators are at the scene, and post mortem examinations will probably be carried out on Monday."

Although the Supermarine Spitfire was famed as a the single-seater fighter that saved Britain during the Battle of Britain a very few number of two seater training versions were built. One, thought to be world's last remaining example, was a familiar sight at UK airshows.

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