Just after 14.00hrs today, the pilot of a display team aeroplane crashed his plane and died at the CarFest motoring event in Cheshire.
The plane – a former Red Arrows Hawk – went down at the CarFest event in Oulton Park.
The organisers of the 3-day event said in a statement, “There has been a serious air incident outside the site of CarFest North, Oulton Park, Cheshire during an air display at around 14:00 today. The emergency services are in attendance and the air accident services have been notified. The event is continuing and more information will be released when it becomes available. No further comment will be made at this time.”
BBC’s new Top Gear presenter Chris Evans – the event’s founder – confirmed the pilot’s death and said the event will continue on the advice of the three aviation authorities he is currently involved with as part of the ongoing investigation into what happened.
Evans tearfully said in a statement, “Just after 2pm, there was a tragic accident – the result of which was one of the pilots involved in a synchro display lost his life. Our condolences go out to his family, who have been informed.”
The plane that crashed was from the Gnat Display Team owned by the Heritage Aircraft Trust.
In the same statement he gave this afternoon, Evans also said that, “The police have also advised us that the best thing, and the safest thing to do, is to carry on with the event – bearing in mind there are 10,000 children here. That’s what we’re going to do.”
CarFest has been described as “a dream of cars, music, food and masses of family fun” – a dream conjured up by Evans and brought to life.
Notable acts such as Joss Stone, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Texas are performing. The event in Cheshire began on Friday and is due to continue until Sunday, with a second event in Hampshire scheduled for the August bank holiday weekend.
Attendees have posted pictures on social media of plumes of black smoke rising from trees surrounding the park.
Cheshire Police officers are at the scene working out what happened.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri