Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Nigel Mansell's jet damaged at Exeter Airport

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell's plane was parked close to a jet testing area

A plane owned by former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell was damaged in an incident at Exeter Airport.

Mr Mansell's Cessna Citation CJ2 was parked near a jet engine testing area when the tail fin was damaged.

The airport said Mr Mansell's plane had been damaged by a Flybe Bombardier CRJ-900 undergoing the tests, but no-one was injured.

Mr Mansell, who has a home in Jersey and a go-kart track in Devon, was unavailable for comment.

The damage happened on 14 December, but the information has only just been released.

'Freak accident'

Jet engines are tested at full throttle against a heat-resistant wall after routine maintenance.

An airport spokesman told BBC News: "It is where they run the engines up.

"No passengers were involved and no other aircraft was involved.

"The issue was between Nigel Mansell and Flybe."

Flybe said in a statement it was "the unfortunate result of a freak accident" and the matter was in the hands of insurers.

Qualified pilot Mr Mansell, 56, uses the airport to commute between Jersey and his business interests in the UK, including a karting business at Dunkeswell near Exeter.

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