Passenger who died in plane crash near Bungay was a retired farmer

The scene of the aircraft crash in Topcroft in Norfolk.

The scene of the aircraft crash in Topcroft in Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

A passenger killed when a vintage American fighter plane crashed near Bungay was a retired farmer, an inquest has heard.

Benjamin Marshall, 84, of Willoughby Waterleys, Leicestershire, died when the two-seater aircraft plunged into a field off Denton Road in Topcroft, on October 2.

Norfolk Area Coroner Yvonne Blake, opening the inquest, gave the preliminary medical cause of death as severe traumatic head and neck injuries.

The hearing at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich was adjourned until January 20. 2017 for review as the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is carrying out inquiries.

The plane, a US-made P51 D Model Mustang nicknamed Janie, had reportedly burst into flames and emergency services were unable to save Mr Marshall, who died at the scene.

The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot, Maurice Hammond, who is in his 50s and from Suffolk.

He is an expert on vintage planes whose restorations were featured on Plane Resurrection, a series shown on Netflix and the Discovery channel.

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Married with two grown-up daughters, he was airlifted to hospital after the crash in a critical but stable condition.

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