Moment two planes swoop down over estuary just eight feet above water

Plane sailing! Moment two private light aircraft swoop down over estuary just eight FEET above the surface ‘almost skimming the water’

  • Two light aircraft spotted swooping over the River Blackwater in Maldon, Essex
  • Witnesses thought plane was trying to lane on the water because it was so close 
  • Civil Aviation Authority have said they will investigate reports of low-flying craft
  • Do you know who the pilots are? Get in touch at [email protected] 

This footage shows the moment two light aircraft swooped so low over an estuary that they were almost ‘skimming the water’.

The two pilots were spotted soaring along a sea wall at the River Blackwater, near Maldon, Essex – a mere eight feet above the water’s surface.

The privately-owned light aircraft swooped so low and close to the sea wall that it appeared to witnesses as if one of them was going to land on it.

This is the shocking moment two light aircraft flew shockingly close to the River Blackwater in Maldon, Essex, leaving witnesses thinking it was trying to land on the water as it was so close

One man said the first plane was practically skimming the surface of the water as it came in

And a shocked birdwatcher who was standing near the water last Tuesday said he was left wondering whether he would need to jump out of the way of the two planes.

The man in his 50s, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘The plane in front was practically skimming the surface of the water as it came in.

‘It was probably only about eight feet above the river as it passed me. I was quite shocked. He was flying extremely low.

‘You can’t even fly a drone that low, usually.

‘There’s a lot of birds and wildlife in that area – all it would have taken was one mallard duck or a migrating goose taking off from the water in front of the plane, and he would have been in trouble.’

The man added: ‘He was originally coming down towards the sea wall, and it looked like he was going to land on it – but then he carried on along the estuary.

‘The shock wasn’t even how close he was to me – it was that he was potentially putting himself at risk.

It is not known why the planes were flying so close to the surface of the river in Essex

The Civil Aviation Authority has said it will be investigating the report of low-flying aircraft

‘It’s not every day that you go birdwatching and see aircraft just a few metres away from you.’

It is not clear what the two aircraft were doing in the area.

And the man said: ‘I don’t know whether they were authorised to be there, or whether there was something wrong with the aircraft and they couldn’t gain height.

‘I don’t know the circumstances. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any footage before of private aircraft flying so low as these two.’

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the organisation will be investigating the report of the low-flying aircraft.

Andrew McConnell said: ‘The safety of the public and the flying community is our number one priority.

‘We will be investigating these reports and it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further before this investigation has been completed.’

The CAA website states: ‘In general, except when necessary for take-off or landing, an aircraft should be 1,000 ft over a built-up area.

‘Otherwise, [it should be] 500ft from people, vehicles, vessels and structures.’

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