Plane plunges into the sea during Kent air show

Spectators praised for wading into sea to help pilot

plane in the sea (Nigel Hancock/PA)

Spectators have been praised for wading into the sea to help a pilot who ditched his plane into the water after it ran into trouble during an air show in Kent.

See also: Pilot walks away from nosedive crash at airshow

See also: Airshow crash pilot had undiagnosed heart problem

Witness Nigel Hancock told how people rushed forward to right the light aircraft after it plunged into the sea at the Herne Bay air show on Sunday.

These crazy images taken by Hancock show the moment the plane came down near Sea View Road – imagine being there to actually see this happen...

plane in the sea

Hancock said: "I was sat up on a local high point. I'd only just arrived there when I saw this aircraft had left the display pattern. I thought something was amiss, so I took a sequence of shots.

"The aircraft was very small and it ended up in shallow water. If it wasn't for the quick actions of people on the beach wading in to help right the aircraft, I don't know what would have happened."

rescuers near the plane

The air show said on its Facebook page that the incident involved the Turbulent Display Team, and confirmed that the pilot suffered minor injuries.

Matt West, of the UK Coastguard, said the pilot was uninjured.

The Lydd-based Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was scrambled, along with Coastguard rescue teams and the Whitstable inshore lifeboat.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) deployed a team to investigate.

The incident comes after safety regulations at UK air shows were tightened in the wake of last August's Shoreham air disaster, which claimed 11 lives.

Quirky events around England 2014

Quirky events around England 2014