Alarmed neighbours said they saw a plane 'swooping like a bird' before it crashed into a field opposite their homes.

Just after 3pm yesterday, Tuesday, August 22, the light aircraft came down next to Tew Road off the A44 near Enstone.

The male pilot sadly died.

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One neighbour told the Oxford Mail despite the fact many aircraft fly over their houses 'you don't expect this to happen' while another said it was 'a bloody shame, so awful'.

One man said: “We have planes over here all the time because they come from Enstone Airfield and also from Oxford Airport. We see them do aerobatics in the sky although it's not something that goes on all the time.

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"I did hear something but I had headphones on. It was only when the air ambulance came that I realised what was happening and my neighbours told me there had been a crash."

Another woman said: “Most of us were inside at the time but my daughter was coming back from Banbury and she said she saw something swooping like a bird in the sky. 

“A few minutes later she heard sirens."

She added: "Lots of Spitfires fly over the village, I'm not sure if it was real or a replica."

Another neighbour said: "I was inside that’s why I didn’t hear anything, but it was definitely a bit of a shock, being so close, and all the police cars and fire engines.

“I’m so sorry for the pilot and his family."

Neighbouring homes were left without power following the crash and engineers were at the scene along with police officers, paramedics and fire crews.

A road closure was put in place on the B4022, just off the A44.

Superintendent Jen Hogben, LPA Commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said the man's family has been been informed "and our thoughts remain with them at this very difficult time and we will be supporting them".

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She confirmed no one else was injured following the tragic incident and appealed for witnesses.

She said: “If anyone has witnessed this incident or has any footage or photographs that will assist with the investigation, we would ask them to please contact us either online or by calling 101 quoting reference 1358 of 22082023.

"An investigation is ongoing which will continue and we will update further when appropriate.”

The Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) deployed a team to the crash site which will carry out an investigation.