A man in his 60s is fighting for his life after being airlifted to hospital following a plane crash at Cranfield airport yesterday afternoon.
Two men, one a flying instructor and a pupil, were seriously injured when the PA-38 Tomahawk light aircraft crashed just after take off at around 1.40pm.
The aircraft is owned by Pilot Training School, which set up business at Cranfield airfield a few months ago,
It is believed an engine failure rather than pilot error was responsible.
It took firefighters more than an hour to cut the pair from the mangled cockpit.
Firefighters from the airfield-based crew were on the scene within seconds to cover the plane with a blanket of foam to stop leaking fuel from exploding.
Other crews have told how they were astonished to find the pair alive as they arrived on the scene.
“The wreckage was so bad that we fully expected casualties. Then as we got closer we could see movement from both men. They were both alive and conscious,” said one firefighter.
Paramedics gave pain relief and other treatment while firefighters cut through the metal.
On onlooker said: “The men were in too much pain to talk but it was obvious they were conscious throughout.”
Both men are at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. As the Citizen went to press, the older man’s injuries were described as “life-threatening” and the younger man’s as “serious”.
An accident investigation has been launched.