Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Red Arrows pilot in hospital after mid-air crash

A pilot is taken to hospital after ejecting from the crash
The pilot suffered a dislocated arm and minor abrasions

A Red Arrows pilot has been taken to hospital after a mid-air crash between two display planes during a training exercise in Crete.

Flt Lt Mike Ling ejected from the aircraft following the collision over Hellenic Air Force Base in Kastelli during a pre-season exercise.

The second pilot Flt Lt Dave Montenegro from the RAF team, based at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, landed safely.

The planes were practising a manoeuvre when they collided at 1150 GMT.

The injured pilot, who ejected himself from the plane before it crash-landed on the runway of the base, has a dislocated arm and minor abrasions.

A service inquiry will be convened to identify the cause of the crash
RAF spokesman

His condition is not life-threatening, the Ministry of Defence said.

The runway was temporarily closed while the aircraft was removed.

The RAF said an investigation into the cause of the crash would be carried out and 2010 season training will continue as soon as possible.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that an incident has occurred involving the Red Arrows whilst undertaking pre-season training at Hellenic Air Force Base Kastelli in Crete.

"A service inquiry will be convened to identify the cause of the crash."

The Red Arrows team arrived on the Greek island on Sunday for the first stage of Exercise Springhawk.

Ten Hawks and a C130 Hercules left Lincolnshire on Saturday and travelled to Crete via France and Italy.

The Red Arrows was formed in 1965 and its pilots have completed more than 4,000 aerobatic displays in 53 countries.



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