A man in his 80s has died after the light aircraft he was a passenger in crashed and burst into flames in Norfolk. A second person – the pilot – was flown by air ambulance to hospital following the crash at Hardwick airfield and is a critical condition.
The plane came down at about 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon
Charles Christian, who lives near the airfield, said he thought the aircraft involved was a vintage Mustang.
“It was flying in and coming into land quite normally and flew right over my head,” he said.
“It flew on toward the runway, which is about a quarter of a mile away, and disappeared behind the trees to land.
“Normally when that plane lands they cut off the engine so you sort of hear it backfiring, a spluttering noise, and then it grinds to a halt.
“It was noticeable that this time there was the spluttering noise and then it stopped very quietly and then a few seconds later there was another bang, which I am guessing was the explosion.”
A spokeswoman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We received a report at 3.36pm that a light aircraft of some sort had just crashed.
“When the first appliance arrived it was confirmed that it was on fire and unfortunately we have had it confirmed that there was one deceased and one airlifted to hospital.
“As far as we are aware it was two people on board and we believe it was a two-seater plane.”
The East of England Ambulance Service sent an emergency response vehicle and an air ambulance to the scene.
A spokesman said: “There were two patients but sadly one of the patients was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The other patient has been airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further care in a serious condition. Our thoughts are with the family and friends involved at this sad time.”
The airfield is believed to belong to a farmer who owns several vintage aircraft.