Two gliders crashed in midair with “a loud bang”, killing one pilot.
Police found the aircraft in a field in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, shortly after 3pm on Thursday, following reports of a collision with a second glider.
The pilot of the first glider was pronounced dead at the scene, while the pilot of the second glider survived with minor injuries after landing safely nearby before seeking help from a local resident, Leicestershire Police said.
Eyewitnesses said they saw one glider clip the wing of another before they “crashed” near the Roundhouse Park development in the west of the city, which lies between Leicester and Nottingham.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has launched an investigation.
‘Like a rocket’
David Leach, a local resident, told the BBC: “I went outside and we looked up to see them circling right above us and then all of a sudden there was a huge explosion.
“I think the wingtip of one clipped the tail end of a glider, clipped off the tail end, and one of them went down like a rocket.