From York Press

THE RAF stunt pilot who ejected from his plane after a problem while performing aerobatics remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Flt Lt Mike Rutland, who lives in York, was flown to hospital in Nottingham with a broken wrist, suspected broken ankle and injuries to his back caused by the G-forces associated with ejecting from a Tucano plane at RAF Linton-on-Ouse on Thursday.

His injuries are not believed to be serious but he was taken by Sea King helicopter to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, which has a specialist spinal unit, as a precaution.

Yesterday, investigators from the RAF’s crash investigation board arrived at the airbase to find out how the crash occurred.

The crash site was cordoned off to allow the investigators to search for evidence. Flights at the base, which trains the next generation of RAF pilots, were suspended. They are due to resume on Monday. A spokesman for RAF Linton-on-Ouse said: “The first concern is to make sure the pilot is okay and the investigators will be looking to interview him when he returns to base.”

The crash happened at 12.25pm on Thursday as Flt Lt Rutland performed manoeuvres above the air base. At the time, the station commander, Group Captain Mike Longstaff, said he could not speculate on how the accident had happened. But he said that Flt Lt Rutland was one of his “finest pilots”.

The pilot, who is married and is thought to have one child, flew a Tornado GR7 during the last Gulf War and was the first to fire the Maverick missile in combat.

He is a specialist aerobatics pilot and trainer and usually performs two flights a day at the base.

He was only recently named as the 2009 Tucano display pilot and was expected to perform at around 50 air shows this summer.