A WINGWALKER biplane crashed in Poole Harbour just feet from numerous pleasure craft earlier today. 

The aircraft, part of the Aerosuperbatics display team, had been wowing crowds at the Bournemouth Air Festival just moments earlier.

Bournemouth Echo: Photo by John Thacker Photo by John Thacker

It narrowly missed pleasure craft in the harbour. 

This is what we know so far about the crash.

What happened and when?

Dorset Police received a report at 3.50pm today, Saturday, September 4, that a small aircraft had crashed into the water in the Sandbanks area of Poole Harbour. 

Fire crews were also alerted to the crash at 3.52pm and firefighters from Poole and Westbourne attended the incident alongside DWFRS' Technical Rescue team from Poole. 

One of the eye-witnesses John Thacker who was onboard HMS Biter at the time of the crash said "the plane sank really quickly."


He said: "It was gone within 30 seconds. There was no sign of it at all.

"We couldn’t get close to it as our draft was too large, but some rubber dinghies got to it in 15 to 20 seconds since it crashed."

What have emergency services said? 

Both occupants of the aircraft have been rescued and are reported to have sustained minor injuries, according to Dorset Police.

They are receiving treatment from the ambulance service. 

Dorset Police has said an investigation is underway and members of the public are being urged to avoid the area and harbour.

Bournemouth Echo: Photo by John ThackerPhoto by John Thacker

A police cordon is in place. 

A spokesperson from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "When fire crews arrived the two passengers of the plane were out of the aircraft and receiving treatment.

"Firefighters were required on scene to support partners, provide scene and traffic control."

Bournemouth Echo:

Is the Sandbanks Ferry running?

Dorset Police have said: "The Sandbanks Ferry is running, but there are very long queues causing congestion on both the Sandbanks and Swanage sides. Motorists are reminded that they can take the road route to avoid the long delays."

What’s happened with Bournemouth Air Festival?

Immediately after the wingwalkers plane crashed in the water at Sandbanks, organisers announced flying would be suspended for an hour.

However, flying has now been called off for the rest of Saturday, which is day three of the four-day event.

Bournemouth Echo: Photo by John ThackerPhoto by John Thacker

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, Bournemouth Air Festival organisers said: "We would also like to thank members of the public for bearing with us all and continuing to make the most of the fabulous ground programme that continued at the Air Festival this afternoon and into the evening.

"We expect a good programme of flying to take place tomorrow (Sunday 5th September)."

The Daily Echo will keep readers updated with any further developments in our live blog

What do we know about the biplane and the wingwalking team?

Bournemouth Echo:

Picture: Corin Messer/BNPS

The Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers are billed at the world's only formation wingwalking team.

Since they were founded in 1984, they have performed at more than 2,500 different events in 20 different countries.

The aircraft used by the team are modified 1940 Boeing 'Super Stearman' biplanes.

Manoeuvres with the wingwalkers on top include loops, rolls, stall turns and inverted flight.

During these manoeuvres the wingwalkers experience speeds of up to 150mph and 'G' forces of up to 4G.