Inquiry pledge on aircraft drama

An investigation will be launched into why a plane used for parachuting at a Norfolk airfield was forced to land yesterday hundreds of metres from its runway.

An investigation will be launched into why a plane used for parachuting at a Norfolk airfield was forced to land yesterday hundreds of metres from its runway.

Both managers at Old Buckenham Airfield, near Attleborough, and at UK Parachuting, the club which is based there, were remaining tight-lipped over possible causes of the accident yesterday.

Each would only say that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch would be informed and an investigation undertaken, and that no-one had been hurt.

But an eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “It happened at about 2.30pm. We watched the plane make its drop of its parachutists and the problems must have happened when it was coming in to land.

“It could have been engine failure, or an untimely down draft, or a number of other problems, but the plane landed about 250m from the runway and the airfield was shut for about five minutes while staff went to investigate.

“The strange thing is, there doesn't appear to be any scarring in the field, it's not like the plane skidded along the ground before coming to a stop. It's all a bit of a mystery, but fortunately the pilot does not appear to have been hurt.”