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SPITFIRE INCIDENT AT LONDON BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT

A Supermarine Spitfire based at the airport’s Heritage Hangar was involved in an emergency landing soon after take-off at 1236 on Saturday when the pilot reported a rough-running engine.

The emergency landing was successfully carried out on a grass area with the airport boundary.  The pilot suffered only minor injuries and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.  The aircraft incurred some damage as a result of the landing.

The incident was attended rapidly by the airport’s Fire & Rescue Service. Units of the London Fire Service were also present on a supportive stand-by basis.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the DoT has been informed and will carry out a thorough investigation of the cause of the incident.

Will Curtis, Managing Director of the airport company, said:

“Spitfires are very much a part of our heritage here at Biggin Hill and we must commend the pilot on his swift and decisive action in the circumstances.  We look forward to seeing the aircraft flying again before too long”

The Spitfire, which took part in the Battle of Britain 75 years ago this summer, will be repaired and returned to service in due course.   The airport is home base for the Heritage Hangar where a number of Hurricanes and Spitfires are restored and maintained.