Plane crashes at RNAS Culdrose air day in Cornwall, UK

An aeroplane has crash-landed at RNAS Culdrose in front of thousands of spectators.

The Royal Navy Sea Fury appeared to suffer a mechanical problem as it came in to land at the base’s annual Air Day event this afternoon.

It was the day’s penultimate flight.

Sam Whitfield, who works for The Herald, said: “The sea fury had problems prior to starting up and had to be fixed.

“Once approved it took off and displayed half way through encountering a hydraulic leak and engine failure which prevented the landing gear to attract open for an emergency landing.

“On landing the pilot did his best to keep it level but the right gear gave way and ended up with the historic sea fury hitting the deck.

“The pilot is safe and out of the aircraft. Fire engines were on the scene straight away.”

Witness Jim Hogan, 66, from Darwin in Lancashire, said: “Apparently the plane radioed in the problem. It was coming down to land and the right-hand landing leg was seen to not come out in time.

“When he landed it ended up veering across the runway and came to a stop on the opposite side of the runway.

“It seemed the leg did eventually come out, but too late.

“The pilot put up a red flare and the emergency services were there in a split second.”

An expert on the scene, Peter Reoch, Cosford Air Show air operations assistant, posted on Twitter: “RNHF Sea Fury T20 has completed a forced landing. Pilot OK. Runway currently blocked with aircraft resting on the fuselage.”

RNAS Culdrose tweeted: “Everyone do not panic. The main thing is the pilot is okay and fire engines are on scene.”

The Helston base’s communications office Pete Wooldridge confirmed that the pilot was okay and that the aircraft had come down on the opposite side of the runway from the audience.

He said the historic plane was one of the last displays scheduled for the event, but that all further flights have been suspended.

“The pilot is fine, he leapt out as soon as the plane came to a halt and he is walking around,” he said.

“There is no fire and no one has been hurt. But scheduled events have currently been suspended.”

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