Pilot's amazing escape as plane crashes after take-off
A PILOT has walked away uninjured after his plane was destroyed in a crash near Swansea Airport.
It is understood the two-seater light aircraft came down on Fairwood common moments after taking off from the Gower airfield.
The 51-year-old pilot escaped from the plane before it was engulfed in flames.
An investigation into the incident has now been launched by a crash specialist.
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Emergency services were called to the airport yesterday lunchtime following reports that an aircraft had gone down.
Airport firefighters were the first on the scene, putting out the flames with specialist foam, while paramedics from the Wales Air Ambulance service — which is based at the airport — were on-hand to check the lucky pilot.
Firecrews from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service arrived a short time later, and damped down the smouldering wreckage.
A spokesman for South Wales Police said the alarm had been raised just after 1pm.
He said: "Police were called to Swansea Airport following reports of a light aircraft crashing shortly after taking off.
"On board was a 51-year-old male pilot who escaped with only minor injuries. The aircraft was later engulfed in flames.
"The matter is now being dealt with by the Air Accident Investigation Branch."
Swansea Airport control tower confirmed a light aircraft had come down just outside the perimeter of the airfield.
A spokesman for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it had dispatched officers to the scene following reports that an aircraft had crashed at the edge of the runway.
He said: "We received a call to Swansea Airport at 1.09pm.
"The pilot escaped unharmed, and the plane was extinguished by the airport fire service using hose reel jets and foam.
"Our crews from Swansea Central and Gorseinon stations attended the scene, damping down the wreckage."
Paramedics from the nearby Air Ambulance base checked the pilot following the incident.
A spokesman said: "A male pilot was checked by the crew on scene but he was uninjured."
The crash is now being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), the section of the UK Department for Transport which is responsible for investigating civil aircraft accidents.
The board confirmed it had been notified of the Fairwood incident.
A spokeswoman added that the board was investigating the incident "through correspondence" — writing to the pilot involved.