Red Arrow plane crashes near Bournemouth Airport

Ruth Doherty
Red Arrow plane crashes near Bournemouth Airport
Red Arrow plane crashes near Bournemouth Airport

PA


A Red Arrow plane has crashed while taking part in the Bournemouth Air Festival.

The plane came down in the village of Throop, just south of Bournemouth Airport.

According to the Daily Mail, the Ministry of Defence says it is aware of an incident and is investigating.

The aircraft was one of nine Red Arrows that had just taken part in a display over the seafront.

A BBC South Today producer, Martin Webster, was at the scene, and said he saw only eight of the Red Arrows RAF display team's planes return to the runway after the display.

Witnesses saw the plane flying low before smashing into a field and coming to a standstill with its nose in the River Stour.

Red Arrow plane crashes near Bournemouth Airport
Red Arrow plane crashes near Bournemouth Airport

Police cordon off a road leading to fields in the village of Throop. Photo: PA


Eyewitness Shaun Spencer-Perkins saw the crash from Throop Mill, and told the BBC that he saw the plane 'explode in to pieces'.

He added: 'I heard a rushing sound and I saw a plane about 15m above the ground racing across the fields.

'It impacted and bounced across the field, made it across the river.
'Members of the public jumped into the water to search for the cockpit.

'We waved down the helicopter, I took off my son's orange jacket and my wife's red jumper to get the attention of the helicopter.'

There has so far been no word about casualties, and organisers of the Bournemouth Air Festival said events would continues scheduled.

Since 1979, the Red Arrows have used the dual control BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft. According to the aerobatic team's website, the planes' Rolls Royce engines produce 5,200lbs of thrust and give a top speed of Mach 1.2.

All nine Red Arrows display pilots are fast jet pilots from frontline Royal Air Force squadrons, according to the BBC.

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