Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 16:09 UK

Fatal air crash wreck to be moved

Wreckage, photo by James O'Neill)
Police said the wreckage would be moved from the site on Monday and Tuesday

Accident investigators are preparing to move the wreckage of a glider and plane which crashed in Oxfordshire killing two people.

An air cadet and an RAF reservist died on Sunday when their light trainer plane was involved in a mid-air collision with a civilian glider.

Witnesses said they saw both aircraft nose-diving into fields at Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon.

The glider's pilot Henry Freeborn, from Hampshire, parachuted to safety.

Local resident James O'Neill said he heard the noise of an aircraft come very low over the house followed by a thud.

His wife then saw the two aircraft spiralling into the ground.

'Almighty crash'

Penny Down who lives next to the field saw the trainer plane sweeping the top of the trees and crash down.

She rushed inside to tell her partner and they looked from a window.

"There was the most almighty crash and a glider just came swooping down, spiralling and hit the ground within 100m of us, nose dived, then flipped onto its back," she said.

Resident James O'Neill: "It wasn't surprising when the thump came"

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) returned to the scene on Monday.

Thames Valley Police said the German-made Standard Cirrus glider would be moved later on Monday and the single-engine Tutor RAF aircaft would probably be moved on Tuesday.

'Shocking accident'

The RAF said the two-seater plane took off from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire on an air experience flight with the pilot and the Combined Cadet Force cadet on board.

The families have been informed, but the victims' names have yet to be released.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it was too early to comment on the cause of the crash.

He said: "A thorough investigation will take place, and we will take whatever action is necessary to prevent a recurrence of this tragic event.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the passenger and pilot at this time."

In February, two Air Training Corps cadets and their RAF instructors were killed in a mid-air crash between two light aircraft in south Wales.

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