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12 August 2013, 14:06
A man and a young boy have been hurt in a light aircraft crash in the grounds of the National Trust's Canons Ashby manor house in Northamptonshire.
Emergency services were called at 11.45am on Monday 12 August 2013 to the scene of a light aircraft crash in Canons Ashby near Towcester.
An 11 year-old boy who was a passenger in the plane was air-lifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with serious injuries, while the pilot received treatment at the scene.
Ben Nichols, 19, who lives at nearby Lodge Farm in the village, saw the plane spiral to the ground with sister Zara, 20.
Ben said: "We were working the sheep at the time. Then we saw this two-seater biplane, it was whirling around a bit, looked like it tried to do a loop. Then the engine cut out. It spiralled down a bit, regained a bit of control and landed with a thud."
He added: "When I went down it looked like it had had a good landing, given the circumstances. The cockpit was a bit smashed up with one of the wings but not as bad as we first thought.''
Zara Nichols said the plane "hadn't left a mark where it landed so it must have gone straight''.
Mr Nichols said it had landed 'on the flat' just yards from a fishing lake and a line of trees, and not far from ridges and furrows in the land. "He obviously picked the right spot".
He said it was not unusual to get planes flying over the area, which is not far from several airfields.
The wreckage of the white and red plane has been loaded onto the back of a lorry to be taken away.
Pilot of the downed aircraft has also now been airlifted to hospital.
A spokeswoman for the National Trust-run Canons Ashby House referred calls to police.
A message on the property's Twitter feed said: "Our thoughts are with those affected by the light aircraft crash today in the parkland. Nothing was damaged in the house or gardens."
It also tweeted: "Thankfully no visitors have been affected and the property is undamaged. Our thoughts go out to the injured and their families."
Heart have been told The Air Accident Investigation Branch are aware of the incident and have now launched the early stages of their investigation.
The pilot has been air-lifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.
Both he and the 11 year-old boy are believed to have serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Arrangements are now being made for the plane to be removed from the site.