Accident Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI G-PRXI, 04 Jun 2001
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 89964
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI
Registration: G-PRXI
MSN: PL983
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Valle de Seine Airport, Rouen, Normandy -   France
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Valle de Seine airport (URO/LFOP)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
ROUEN, France (Reuters) - The British pilot of a World War Two Spitfire has died after his plane crashed into a field at an airshow in the Normandy region of France, in the third fatal airshow crash in as many days.

The Spitfire's engine lost power and the pilot set up an approach for a forced landing on a grass runway that had been designated for emergency use. On getting closer to the airfield the pilot saw that there were spectators on the grass runway and he attempted to reposition his aircraft for a landing on the sealed runway from which he had taken off. Control was lost at this point, when the Spitfire stalled, crashed, and caught fire.
A strip down inspection of the Merlin engine revealed that the loss of power was due to faulty magnetos.

"Earlier we had seen smoke coming from his engine and the airport siren was rung. The pilot wanted to land on the runway, but at the last moment when he saw he would crash into the crowd, he swerved to avoid them," said fireman Yannick Bobin on Monday.

"The plane exploded on impact and was on fire when the firemen approached," he added.
French police named the dead pilot as 56-year-old Martin Sargeant. No further details were immediately available.

Organisers said 11 Spitfires and a Hurricane were taking part in the airshow near the northern city of Rouen, the first to bring together such an important collection of World War Two planes in France since the war.

Wreckage sold on 13 February 2003 to Propshop Ltd, Duxford, Cambridgeshire for long term rebuild at Duxford (still in progress January 2014). The registration G-PRXI has never been cancelled, despite the above accident, and remains current as at February 2015



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

09-Feb-2011 14:29 harro Added
24-Sep-2011 18:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Feb-2015 01:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Mar-2020 20:23 Iwosh Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Destination airport, Operator]
18-Sep-2021 05:36 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
18-Sep-2021 05:43 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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