East Midlands airport runway disruption after Spitfire landing drama
The runway at East Midlands Airport was closed yesterday after a Spitfire "collapsed" as it landed.
The undercarriage of the vintage aircraft broke during the scheduled arrival at about 3.20pm yesterday.
All flights in and out of the Castle Donington airport, in north west Leicestershire, were suspended until the plane was towed from the only runway at about 6pm.
An spokeswoman for East Midlands Airport said: "A Spitfire was coming in to land and upon landing the undercarriage collapsed.
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"It was just coming in as it normally would – it was not an emergency landing.
"We have one runway. As the aircraft was on the runway, we couldn't operate flights until it was cleared.
"The aircraft was met by the airport's fire service."
She said staff had worked hard to remove the plane.
She said: "Passengers should continue to check in as normal and the airport is now fully operational.
"There were a small number of flights which were diverted elsewhere."
Nobody was injured during the incident.
After the plane was removed, the runway was inspected before flights resumed.
Seven flights due to arrive at the airport from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Tenerife, Aberdeen, Funchal, in Portugal, and Rzeszow, in Poland, had to be diverted to Birmingham.
The East Midlands Airport spokeswoman could not confirm how many outgoing flights had been delayed, but the airport's website showed 11 flights appeared to be affected.
The British single-seat fighter aircraft, which was used during the Second World War, belongs to Rolls Royce and is stored at the airport.
The undercarriage is the structure which supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land.
A spokesman for Rolls Royce said the company was aware of the incident but would not give any further details.
The lead story on the "heritage" section of the company's website said their Rolls Royce Spitfire PS853 took to the sky in October last year following a 23-month "extensive refurbishment".
The website said: "All major systems and structures have been dismantled, inspected, repaired and reassembled.
"The 36.7 litre, V12 Griffon engine-powered Spitfire accelerated smoothly down the runway and lifted off into the air, to the delight of the restoration team and visitors alike."