An investigation has been launched into the death of an experienced pilot who was killed when the vintage aircraft he was flying crashed in front of hundreds of shocked spectators at an air show.
The airman, named in reports as Gulf War veteran Trevor Roche, crash-landed in a field after his plane experienced difficulties during the military pageant at Old Warden Aerodrome, near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, yesterday.
Just minutes before he had taken to the skies in front of around 600 spectators in an extremely rare de Havilland DH 53 Humming Bird, it was reported.
Mr Roche, who was in his 40s and also believed to be a former British Airways pilot, was pronounced dead soon after the accident.
It came after teams of emergency workers, including the aerodrome's own fire officials, worked to free him from the wreckage of the wooden plane just 300 yards from the crowds.
The name of the crash victim is not expected to be formally released until a coroner's inquest opens, a spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said.
The Old Warden Aerodrome is home to the Shuttleworth Collection of vintage aircraft. Mr Roche had held the position of chief pilot, according to reports.
A statement on the collection's website confirmed an aircraft had experienced difficulties and crashed.
"Emergency services and the air ambulance were called to the scene and one casualty airlifted to hospital," it said.
"We are not releasing details of the person's identity or the nature of the injuries incurred.
"We would like to thank both on-site and external emergency crews for their prompt reaction."
The air show was cancelled in the wake of the tragedy to allow accident investigators to assess the scene.
A spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed the aircraft involved was a DH 53 vintage aircraft, adding an investigation had been launched to determine the circumstances behind the crash.