Pilot airlifted to hospital after WW2 Wildcat fighter plane crash-lands

Grumman_(General_Motors) FM-2 Wildcat
Andrew Thomas / Creative Commons

The pilot of a Grumman General Motors Wildcat fighter plane was airlifted to hospital when the aircraft was found upside down following a crash landing.  

Local police in the United Kingdom (UK) confirmed that officers were called at around 5:15pm on Thursday 6 July, 2023. 

Suffolk Police attended the incident after receiving reports that a light aircraft had crashed in the grounds of Heveningham Hall. 

The pilot, who was flying solo, is understood to have suffered serious injuries during the crash landing. 

“At this stage it is believed the pilot was attempting to land the plane at the time of the incident,” a spokesperson for Suffolk Police said. 

An area of Heveningham Hall, a large country property belonging to businessman Jon Hunt, was cordoned off while police preserved the scene of the accident. 

Officers confirmed that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has been informed and will be conducting an investigation into the incident. 

According to the Classic Warbirds website, over 4,500 General Motors Wildcat aircraft were produced by the end of August 1945. 

Serving with the United States Navy during the Second World War, a number of General Motors Wildcats were provided to the UK under lend-lease.  

These were originally called Martlets before reverting back to the American name of Wildcat. 

Heveningham Hall has its own airfield and is due to welcome visitors this weekend for the annual country fair.  

Among the attractions scheduled at the event is a flying display by Spitfire fighter planes. 

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