1. ITV Report

MOD investigate after emergency landing

Plane making emergency landing at RNAS Culdrose Photo: Baz Stevens

New footage has emerged of the moment a plane got into difficulty during a display flight at RNAS Culdrose Air Day and then made a dramatic emergency landing. It all happened yesterday afternoon. The pilot of the Royal Navy Sea Fury got the aircraft safely onto the ground away from the spectators and also walked away from the badly damaged plane without any injury. An MOD investigation is underway.

The Sea Fury was well into it's air day routine when a problem became aparent to anyone watching. Smoke began pouring from the fifty year old aircraft, the Navy's last propellor driven fighter, as it performed in the penultimate display of the day. The pilot was given permission to land immediately.

"It came in really quite low, it was like ten feet above the ground, and then suddenly the gear popped out. One of the ger then popped back in as though it hadn't locked. So probably what's happened is a hydraulic pump failure."

– Spectator

"Yeah it was quite worrying for a few minutes but the main thing is, he's OK, plane's OK. It's a bit bent but I'm sure they'll repair it."

– Spectator

The pilot, Lt Cdr Chris Gotke, is immensely experienced. He'd been a Harrier jump jet pilot withthe Royal Navy for several years, and then transfered to the experiemtnal establishment at Boscombe Down as a test pilot. He'd flown the Sea Fury with the Royal Navy Heritage Flight for several years.

He clearly knew there was a problem with the smoke coming from the aircraft and had called for permission to make an emrgency landing. It's not clear yet, though, whether he knew there was a problem with the undercarriage until the very last moment when it failed to lock down.

Ground engineers at the historic flight at Yeovilton will be devastated by the crash. They look after their old aircraft with loving care. The Ministry of Defence will now convene a Board of Inquiry with a panel of experts to find out just what went wrong.

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