British Spitfire Pilot Dies in French Airshow Crash
ROUEN, France (Reuters) - The British pilot of a World War Two Spitfire has died after his plane crashed into a field at an airshow in the Normandy region of France, in the third fatal airshow crash in as many days.
"Earlier we had seen smoke coming from his engine and the airport siren was rung. The pilot wanted to land on the runway, but at the last moment when he saw he would crash into the crowd, he swerved to avoid them," said fireman Yannick Bobin on Monday.
"The plane exploded on impact and was on fire when the firemen approached," he added.
French police named the dead pilot as 56-year-old Martin Sargeant. No further details were immediately available.
The pilot of a World War Two fighter was killed when his plane crashed and exploded at an air show near London on Sunday, the day after another aircraft crashed at the show killing two crewmen.
Organisers said 11 Spitfires and a Hurricane were taking part in the airshow near the northern city of Rouen, the first to bring together such an important collection of World War Two planes in France since the war.