A pilot escaped with minor injuries yesterday after he was forced to make an emergency landing in an Aberdeenshire field.
Fire and ambulance crews were scrambled to the scene of the incident at Westport Farm near Stonehaven, just off the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road at about 3.50pm.
The dramatic landing happened just days after an Apache army helicopter came down safely in Maryculter after suffering engine failure.
Yesterday, witnesses described watching the twin-engined, eight-seater plane circling over the North Sea before it glided into the middle of a ploughed field.
The pilot, who was the only person on board at the time, was able to get himself out of the plane safely after carrying out the controlled landing.
About 40 firefighters from Stonehaven and Aberdeen were called to the scene and used water jets and foam to stop any possible fuel explosions.
The plane came to rest on its underside leaving a trail of mud behind it – but appeared to be mainly intact.
Suraya Lerche, 13, was on a visit to nearby Dunnottar Castle with her mother when she saw the plane come down with a trail of smoke coming from it.
She said: “We were at the top of the hill and there was this plane coming around.
“It looked like one of the two engines had stopped.
“It was putt-putting along the whole way, quite loud.
“There was a thin trail of smoke coming from it. It then just disappeared out of view over the land.”
The pair then saw the stricken aircraft in a field after driving further along the road.
An RAF Sea King helicopter hovered over the incident scene for several minutes before ambulances arrived.
The pilot, believed to be in his 40s,was initially taken onto a Scottish Ambulance Service vehicle. He was then put into a neck brace, transported to another ambulance, and taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He is believed to have suffered back injuries, which were not serious.
It is understood the pilot had taken off from Wick airport earlier in the day and was heading for Le Touquet on the French coast.