Pilot killed in plane crash near Downside Abbey

The crash happened next to Downside School

A pilot was killed when his plane came down in fog near a public school.

The pilot, who has not been named, crashed in the four-seater in the grounds of Downside Abbey at Stratton-on-the-Fosse shortly before midday.

A police spokeswoman said ambulance crews were on the ground and the Civil Aviation Agency had been informed. The Air Accident Investigations Branch has sent a team to the scene.

Farmer Andrew Coombs said there was "thick drizzly fog" at the time.

"I heard what sounded like a display stunt team.

"It was a very, very loud intense engine noise like a car door slamming in the distance, then silence," said Mr Coombs who farms near the abbey.

The plane came down in the grounds of Downside Roman Catholic boarding school but there were no other injuries.

Ch Insp John Holt, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The indications are that the pilot was almost certainly killed on impact."

He said it had been a "private flight with a private aircraft" from the "Somerset locality" to the Home Counties.

"Whilst we have not formally identified the pilot, we believe we know who it is, and the next of kin have been informed."

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