Probe into unauthorised Victor flight
An investigation has been launched into the unauthorised take-off of a 50-ton bomber at a public show.
Thousands of enthusiasts were shocked when a vintage Victor aircraft climbed to 30ft above the runway during a fast taxi run at Bruntingthorpe airfield, near Lutterworth.
An investigation has been launched into the take-off of the Cold War bomber
The aircraft, which has no clearance to fly, was airborne for about 10 seconds before touching down again.
It came to rest towards the end of the runway near the outskirts of the village of Gilmorton.
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Concerned onlookers were alarmed that one of the wing tips nearly hit the ground before it landed.
Pictures and video of the event have now been posted on the internet.
Residents at Gilmorton have raised concerns about the dangers posed by the incident.
A spokesman for local pressure group Abandon, set up to register residents' concerns about noise at the airfield, claimed: "The Victor could have overshot the runway on landing and ended up on the Gilmorton to Kimcote road.
"It could have flown a little further, veered in any direction and failed in flight endangering the playing fields, Tealby Close, or Lutterworth Road houses.
"In short, it could have come down anywhere."
Joanna Green, who lives in Bruntingthorpe said: "It is very worrying. There are so many houses close by."
One spectator quoted on a pilots' website said: "I was there and I saw what happened.
"It was a great day and it would be a terrible shame if these events were to stop happening.
"That said, the organisers are extremely lucky they did not end up with something far, far worse on their hands.
"This is a very large aircraft we are talking about. How they managed to stop the thing is beyond me and I would have said that whoever was at the controls will have some tricky questions to answer.
"I hope lessons are learned from this and that these days keep on happening because as a spectacle, and as an aviation enthusiast, they need to. That sort of thing, however, should never happen again."
The incident occurred during the Cold War Jets open day at the site on May 3.
Bruntingthorpe is the home of the only airworthy Vulcan bomber in the world, which has been restored in a £7m project.
The Vulcan was undergoing a major overhaul and was in its hangar.
But the event included a number of fast taxi runs with other aircraft.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said they had been contacted about the incident relating to the Victor being airborne without a permit to fly.
He said: "We have been made aware of what happened with the Victor.
"We have launched an investigation and evidence will be gathered to ascertain the full facts."
He said the organisers of the event and the pilot could face legal sanctions. Bruntingthorpe is allowed to let authorised aircraft take off and land.
Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground spokesman David Walton said: "We are responsible for the museum. We have filed a report on what happened with the CAA."
He declined to make any further comment.