Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Sunday, 30 March 2008 21:02 UK

Eyewitness: Kent air crash

A small plane carrying five people has crashed in Farnborough, Kent. Local residents and a pilot who was using the same airfield gave their accounts of the crash to the BBC.

John, private pilot

"I was about 30 seconds from touchdown and I heard a Mayday call. [The pilot] reported severe engine vibrations. You could hear the alarms in the cockpit.

Scene of crash
The crash destroyed a house, but its occupants were away on holiday

"He was cleared to land. The pilot came back over the radio a second or two later and said: 'We're going down, we're going down'.

"The radio stayed live, and as I turned off the runway I looked back and I saw the plane basically drop out of the sky.

"And then the radio went dead and black smoke came up from over the hill."

Paul Daisley, local resident

"We heard a light aircraft coming across as if it was having trouble putting its wheels up.

"The wheels wouldn't come down and it was dropping rather rapid, as it came across the tennis centre. And then we just saw a big plume of black smoke go up in the air."

Barrie Harwood, visitor at the Princess Royal hospital

"He [the pilot] turned away from the hospital and plunged into woodland. I think he was looking for somewhere safe to land...

"A ward full of sick people have just seen a plane come down in front of them. It's a beautiful sunny day in Farnborough, and the sky has turned black over one half."

Jamie Foot, local resident

"As soon as the plane left over our houses there was a massive explosion. Really scared, my sister started to cry."

Brian Vickers, local resident

I was in my garden and I saw the aeroplane... come screaming over the houses. I think he must have been trying to land it on the playing fields behind the school...

"Then we heard this huge explosion and we saw a pall of black smoke."

Lesley Roots, local resident

"I'm used to aeroplanes because of living near Biggin Hill, but this one sounded very loud and in trouble. And I thought, 'Well, it's not a car crash; that's something worse'.

And then I looked out and saw all this black smoke and a huge bang: you know, flames."

Matthew Wincott, local resident

"It was banking slightly and the wheels were definitely up. I ran out of the front of the house. It just hit the ground and burst into flames...

I couldn't get anywhere near the plane, but I could feel the heat."

Julie O'Regan, local resident

I heard this plane screaming over the buildings. Then I heard a rumble... I looked over and I could see quite clearly the plume of smoke."

Katherine Simnett, local resident

"You can smell the air fuel... One of the houses was actually empty, and the people in the other house got out safely."

Lynne-Marie Carter, local resident

I was in my garden and I heard the sound of a plane in trouble - a screaming noise. It was so loud and obviously right above us.

"When I turned round I saw the tail going over the houses. There was an enormous explosion and a giant orange mushroom cloud."

Tim Collison, local resident

"I heard a big whooshing noise, just flying past the bedroom window - and out the corner of my eye, I saw a grey blur, if you like. I sat up in bed, looked out the window, and just saw the plane hit the house. Big ball of flame, grey smoke puffing out the top of the house."





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