A pilot had a lucky escape after his plane “disintegrated” when he crash-landed in the grounds of a £15,000-a-year boarding school off the M25.
Onlookers said the man, who looked to be in his 40s, was destined for Redhill Aerodrome when he got into difficulty while flying over Surrey.
The aviator managed to crash land the stricken plane in the grounds of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate, Surrey.
The grounds – the 250 acre Gatton Park – are close to the M25 motorway.
Locals said the plane “disintegrated” when it crash landed at 1.15pm today (11) and photos appear to show it missing its front end and wings.
But Spence Ogilvie, who was on the scene just after the crash, said the pilot “walked away” and appeared to be unhurt.
Sports coach Spence, 47, a retired policeman, said: “All of a sudden four ambulances turned up, got lost in the site, and then came back.
“They asked me ‘have you seen a plane crash?’
“I smirked and said no – but then the maintenance guy [for the school], who had a radio on a gold buggy appeared, and said there had been reports of a plane crash on the far end of the school grounds.
“Soon there were five police cars and a couple of fire engines. The pilot was heading back to Redhill Aerodrome when he got into difficulty.
“He saw a field and landed. The pilot walked out of it. The plane was disintegrated, but he managed to land it.”
The Royal Alexandra and Albert School is a voluntary aided, all-through co-educational boarding school, where fees are up to £5,250-a-term.
Surrey Police has been approached for comment.