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Spitfire pilot makes emergency landing in a field in Woodchurch

The pilot of a Spitfire had to make an emergency landing today in a field in Woodchurch. 

Fire crews, police and paramedics were called to the scene of the crash at 10am.

The pilot was out of the plane when they arrived and has been assessed by paramedics.

The wing has come off and the propellers snapped
The wing has come off and the propellers snapped

It is understood that engine failure was the cause of the crash, which damaged the propellers and wing. 

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

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Police were called to a field in Woodchurch, Ashford at 9.50am this morning, following a report that a small plane had crashed.

"It is reported that the pilot of the plane, 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."

Liz King, who lives close by, heard the plane flying before the emergency landing.

She said: "We didn't see it land but we heard it.

The plane remains in the field this afternoon
The plane remains in the field this afternoon

"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."

Now it's been revealed the pilot who skilfully crash-landed the Spitfire cheated death four years ago during a mid-air crash in front of thousands of spectators at a show.

Rob Davies, 68, MBE, has his own collection of historic aircraft and is a well-known face at flying displays.

Spitfire pilot Rob Davies
Spitfire pilot Rob Davies

He said: "I'm fine, it was a very simple engine failure, I walked away unscathed."

In 2001 he dramatically bailed out of a Second World War Mustang in mid-air after an airshow collision.

His plane clipped wings with another Mustang at the annual Flying Legends Airshow in Duxford, Cambs and he parachuted to safety from just 250ft.

Mr. Davies, a former RAF mechanic, was flying near his own landing strip at Woodchurch when the Spitfire suffered engine failure shortly after take-off.

Emergency services spent the morning at the scene. Picture @LizTriSpirit
Emergency services spent the morning at the scene. Picture @LizTriSpirit

There are thought to be only around 50-odd airworthy Spitfiresin the world today. 

The oldest surviving Spitfire is a Mark 1, serial number K9942; it is preserved at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford in Shropshire.

The plane played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain in Kent, from July to October 1940, and was seen by the public to be the RAF fighter.

Watch: The day's news on KMTV

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