Page last updated at 18:56 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 19:56 UK

Pilot rescued after plane hits car near runway in Essex

A pilot was dragged from a burning plane after the light aircraft he was flying crashed into a car at an Essex airfield, firefighters said.

The single-engine AT3 hit the Volvo as the pilot struggled to land at North Weald Airfield shortly before 1430 BST.

Two people in the car pulled the pilot clear of the burning wreckage. He suffered facial, back and leg injuries.

Volunteer fire crews were at the airfield for a drag race event so were able to quickly tackle the blaze.

The pilot, who is in his 40s and thought to be from Hertfordshire, was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

It is not clear at this stage whether the incident was caused by mechanical failure or human error
Station officer Len Cleary

An Essex Fire Service spokesman said the plane appeared to land, but took off again.

It was attempting a second landing when it hit the car, which was leaving the airfield, the spokesman said.

The two people in the car were unhurt.

Station officer Len Cleary said: "The pilot was lucky. It appears that the two people in the car brought him clear of the fire after the collision.

"It is not clear at this stage whether the incident was caused by mechanical failure or human error.

"The volunteer fire team acted swiftly to cover the scene with a blanket of foam so when we arrived the fire was under control.

"We have now scaled back our investigation but may return to the scene should the Civil Aviation Authority deem an investigation necessary."

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