A TRAINEE pilot and an instructor had a dramatic escape when their plane crash-landed at a North Yorkshire air base.

The two-person Tucano trainer crashed on its approach to the runway at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Its undercarriage failed to come down, but both men walked away unhurt.

Flt Lt Dave Williams, of Linton-on-Ouse, said an investigation had been launched into the incident, which happened at 10.20am yesterday.

The turbo-prop Tucano, which is driven by a propellor powered by a jet engine, suffered serious damage and came to rest on grass after travelling down the runway, The Press understands. The runway was closed after the incident.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse operates a fleet of Tucano TMk1 aircraft, most of which are thought to be at least 20 years old. It is the home of No 1Flying Training School, the oldest in the world, and 72 Squadron, which trains basic fast jet pilots for the RAF and Royal Navy.

An airbase statement said the Tucano was on “a routine training flight”, but it was too early to confirm details of the damage or the cause of the crash.

In 2009, the Linton-on-Ouse display pilot, Flt Lt Mike Rutland, escaped with a broken wrist after he was forced to eject from his Tucano which crashed just 200 yards from a hangar where 60 ground crew were working.

In 2010, three military aircraft, including a Tucano containing a student pilot, narrowly avoided a mid-air crash in the skies 2,000 feet over Easingwold.

An investigation into the incident found two Hawk jets approaching the airbase were only 70 metres from colliding with the student pilot, and gave it an “A” risk rating, its most severe.

The report, by the UK Airprox Board, said the incident highlighted a problem with language used during air traffic instruction by the airbase, who said at the time any lessons needed to improve operations would be taken on board.

Flt Lt Williams could not say when the runway would reopen following yesterday’s incident, or if training would be halted and the Tucano fleet grounded until a full investigation had taken place.