Airport Closes After Spitfire Landing Drama

A runway at East Midlands airport was closed for almost three hours after the undercarriage of a World War Two Spitfire collapsed on landing.

Airport officials said the plane’s undercarriage failed as it touched down. Luckily, the pilot was unharmed.

The incident happened at 3.19pm and the runway was reopened at 6pm after the Spitfire was removed.

An airport spokesman said: “The airport has been working hard to remove the aircraft from the runway.

“During this time, flights were temporarily suspended with seven aircraft diverted to Birmingham Airport.

“The aircraft has now been towed from the runway and after a final runway inspection, flights resumed at 6pm.

“Passengers should continue to check in as normal and the airport is now fully operational

Spitfires played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain when the single-seat fighter helped beat back waves of German bombers.

More than 20,000 were built, although only a few dozen remain in working order today.

Rolls Royce, which built the Merlin engines used to power the fighters, bought the Spitfire involved in the landing drama in 1996.

The Rolls-Royce Spitfire as it became known, is based in a dedicated hangar at East Midlands Airport and is usually seen at airshows and corporate functions.