'Spitfire' Pilot makes Emergency Landing at Peterborough Airport without wheels

This is the nail-biting moment a pilot skillfully carried out an emergency landing of his replica Spitfire - without any wheels.

The Aircraft was flying above Sibson Airfield when the pilot radioed Airfield bosses to say he could not release his landing gear on Saturdaymorning.

Skydivers jumping at the Airfield in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, were grounded as he circled for more than 20 minutes in a bid to burn fuel.

Emergency services arrived at the scene just as the replica plane was carefully flown towards the ground in strong winds.
But the pilot managed to land the Aircraft without any landing gear - skimming the Aircraft over the grass on its belly.
The pilot was unharmed after the incident and apart from a broken propeller the plane appeared largely undamaged.

Photographer Mark Norman, 44, who was at the airport to film skydivers, said: "It could have been far worse than it was.
"It was very dramatic. I had been here all day filming the skydiving and they shut our operation down so that he could crash.

"He came over the radio to say the wheels just wouldn't come down on it so he had to go round and round and round to get rid of his fuel. I can imagine he was feeling a bit nervy."

Mr Norman added: "He put the tail end down first and then the rest down and came to a full stop right there. It was very impressive. Everyone was waiting nervously and just hoping it would be ok.

"I suspect he went off for a stiff drink to nurse his ego afterwards, but he did very well."

Witnesses said the plane, which is kept in a private hangar at the Airfield, got into difficulty at around 11.45am.
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The pilot radioed the Airport and asked if he could make an emergency landing on a grassy area, after burning off fuel.
Three fire engines, two police cars and an ambulance were called to witness the landing, but the pilot was able to make a relatively soft landing by skimming across the grass.

A Cambridgeshire Fire Service spokesman said the first call of a plane in distress came in at about 11.45am.
The spokesman said the pilot made a "successful belly landing" with the undercarriage retracted.

The "80 per cent replica Spitfire" was kept at a private hangar at the Airfield, according to a spokesman from a nearby flying school.