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Tue, Apr 30, 2013

U.K Pilot Flying WWI Replica Airplane Fatally Injured

One Of Several Replica Vintage Airplanes Practicing For An Aerial Display

A replica of a WWI era Fokker airplane went down Saturday at the Army Aviation Center in Middle Wallop, U.K., during practice for a aerial display. The pilot, the only person on board the aircraft, was fatally injured in the accident. The airplane was thought to be a replica of a Fokker Einedecker monoplane (similar aircraft pictured in 1915 photo).

A witness said that there were about a dozen of the vintage aircraft "doing circuits" of the airfield when the accident occurred. The witness, identified by the BBC as Nick Bayes of Andover, said that there were biplanes and triplanes flying in the formation. He said he stopped to take some pictures when the driver of another vehicle stopped to say one of them had gone down.

First responders said the pilot, who has not yet been identified pending notification of next of kin, was declared dead at the scene. Images from the accident scene show just the frame of the airplane broken into several pieces.

Authorities did say that the pilot was a 68-year-old man from Horsham in West Sussex.

A spokesman for the U.K. Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said "the branch is aware of the incident and inspectors are investigating."

FMI: www.aaib.gov.uk

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