Stills from a video recording the crash

An air display pilot died on Sunday after his vintage aircraft plunged to the ground and burst into flames in front of thousands of spectators watching the air show at Madrid´s Cuatro Vientos airfield, the oldest airport in Spain, situated some 8 kilometres south west of the city.

The pilot was named as Ladislao Tejedor Romero, and he was flying a two-seater 1950´s advanced jet trainer aircraft, Hispano HA-200 Saeta, at the display attended by around 3,000 people. The cause of the crash is being investigated, but at around 1pm, the spectators watched in horror as the plane plummeted to the ground, around 500 metres from the main viewing area, and an explosion of flames was seen a few moments later.

The plane had come down and crashed into a hanger, having also hit the hanger that houses the National Police helicopter. Debris was strewn across the car park outside. The pilot is said to have survived the initial impact, although he was severely burnt and was taken to hospital by an ambulance that was on site for the air show. He was confirmed to have died as a result of his injuries shortly after.

In addition to the pilot, 18 other people, including three national policemen, suffered varying degrees of injury. Five of those injured have been admitted to hospital, although their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

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