Airmen back at Tornado base

Two airmen who ejected from an RAF Marham fighter plane moments before it crashed into the Wash have been released from hospital.

Two airmen who ejected from an RAF Marham fighter plane moments before it crashed into the Wash have been released from hospital.

The pilot and navigator were both allowed home after being given the all-clear following completing a medical examination.

They had a lucky escape when their £30m GR4 bomber Tornado jet crashed on the sand banks of the Wash on Tuesday.

Both men were given extensive medical checks at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, which specialises in spinal problems caused by crew ejecting from aircraft.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said both men visited RAF Marham today after their release and were now due to undergo a period of recuperation before returning to full flying duties in the near future.

As reported in the EDP, the two-man crew of the 1,400mph GR4 ejected moments before it plunged into the sea, breaking up on impact. It got into difficulties while on a weapons training sortie at Holbeach Bombing Range in the south of the estuary at around 11.15am on Tuesday.

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A Royal Marine helicopter was in the area at the time and helped guide RAF Sea King air rescue helicopters to the men floating in life rafts.

Since then a Royal Navy salvage team has been at the scene to carry out an assessment prior to removing the plane from the area. It is not known at this stage when that will take place.

A board of inquiry has been convened and will look into the cause of the accident.

The MoD spokesman said: “It is likely that the wreckage will be taken to RAF Honington where there is sufficient space to lay everything out for the board of inquiry inspectors.”

Environment Agency inspectors have also been to the scene and said there has not been any pollution problems caused by the crash.

The MoD said details of which squadron the aircraft belonged to and the name of its crew would not be released.