Spit­fire crashlands in field

Wartime fighter suf­fered from en­gine fail­ure

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sa­man­tha Wil­liams saw­illiams@thek­m­group.co.uk @SamWil­liamsKM

A Spit­fire was left in two pieces af­ter its pi­lot was forced to make an emer­gency land­ing.

The plane came down in a field off Pluren­den Road, close to Wood­church, on Mon­day at around 10am.

The pi­lot, Rob Davies, 68, a for­mer RAF me­chanic, was fly­ing near his own land­ing strip when the Spit­fire suf­fered en­gine fail­ure shortly af­ter take-off.

He es­caped un­hurt from the crash-land­ing.

How­ever, the his­toric air­craft’s left wing was torn off, and all four pro­pel­ler blades were dam­aged.

Po­lice, paramedics, fire crews and the air am­bu­lance were all called to the field, and Mr Davies was as­sessed at the scene.

Fire­fight­ers also dealt with a leak of a large quan­tity of avi­a­tion fuel.

Speak­ing af­ter the crash-land­ing, Mr Davies, MBE, who has his own col­lec­tion of his­toric air­craft and is a well-known face at fly­ing dis­plays, said: “I’m fine, it was a very sim­ple en­gine fail­ure. I walked away un­scathed.”

It is thought the Ger­many­based two-seater Spit­fire was be­ing tested ahead of an ap­pear­ance at the Good­wood Re­vival fes­ti­val over the week­end, which show­cases vintage and clas­sic cars, mo­tor­cy­cles and air­craft.

Wit­ness Liz King, who lives close by, has de­scribed the mo­ments lead­ing up to the emer­gency land­ing.

She said: “We didn’t see it land but we heard it.

“We first heard it fly­ing over­head.

“It then stut­tered and cut out. We then heard a whoosh sound.

“It looks like the pi­lot landed it pretty well.”

A po­lice spokesman said:

‘I’m fine, it was a very sim­ple en­gine fail­ure, I walked away un­scathed’

“Po­lice were called to a field in Wood­church at 9.50am, fol­low­ing a re­port that a small plane had crashed.

“It is re­ported that the pi­lot of the air­craft, be­lieved to be a Spit­fire, was un­in­jured in the in­ci­dent.

“Kent Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (KFRS), the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity were all alerted to the in­ci­dent.

“KFRS dealt with fuel leak­age from the plane and SECAMB checked the pi­lot for in­jury.”

A pic­ture of the dam­aged Spit­fire taken by wit­ness Liz King

Pi­lot Rob Davies

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