Light aircraft crash off Kent coast

British and French emergency teams have responded to reports that a light aircraft has crashed into the English Channel. The American-registered plane carrying one person on board came down about 15 miles off Dungeness in Kent at around 2.30pm today.

A cross-Channel search and rescue operation has been launched involving both English and French teams, including a French helicopter and the Dungeness RNLI lifeboat. The alarm was raised after the single-engine light aircraft, which was headingfrom London to Le Touquet, was overdue.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: 'A French helicopter has been searching for two hours. That will have to return shortly and that will be replaced by a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. The search is ongoing at the moment to find the pilot.'


Search for pilot called off

Air accident investigators are trying to work out why a light aircraft crashed into the English Channel near Kent.