Adam Brookes.

A Royal Navy pilot has safely ejected from his Harrier GR7 aircraft moments before it crashed in a field near the small village of Ashwell in England. The crash occurred at about 1350 BST today.

The pilot was taken by air ambulance to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for treatment for spinal injuries.

Local resident Vic Harrison spoke to the BBC about the incident: “I thought he didn’t stand a chance, but I looked up and saw the parachute of the pilot. I really thought he had hit the houses. It was a narrow miss – it must have been just 400 yards from our house. It has been an exceptionally lucky escape.”

The plane, from the nearby RAF Cottesmore airbase, was on a training mission and is said not to have been carrying any weapons.

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