A HELICOPTER pilot was killed when his aircraft crashed in North Yorkshire today.

The aircraft crashed into a crop field at just after 1.20pm today.

North Yorkshire Police, the fire service and paramedics were all at the scene near Aldborough, Boroughbridge.

A police spokesman said the pilot was the sole occupant of the private, civilian aircraft.

Officers have cordoned off the area and are currently searching the scene, the spokesman said.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said earlier on social media that four fire crews had been sent to the scene, but some had left by 4pm.

The remaining fire crews had left the scene by 4.43pm.

Aldborough is close to RAF Dishforth - a site used by both the RAF and the British Army, and formerly home to Apache and Lynx helicopters.

At this stage, the helicopter is not believed to be either an RAF or Army vehicle. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence declined to make an official statement at this stage.

Brian Rey is landlord of The Ship Inn at Aldborough, and said he and his wife heard the helicopter prior to the crash.

Mr Rey said: "We heard the helicopter, the next thing after that was police sirens. Apparently it crashed in the middle of fields just out the back of us and is completely burned out. When I spoke to police 45 minutes ago they didn't know how many were in it. It was a burnt out wreck.

"I don't know where it was going or where it was from, that's to be officially confirmed. I didn't hear it come down. My wife made some comment about noise, but we were actually thinking it was a crash on the A1, but the sirens were a bit closer than expected."

Mr Rey, who has been in the village for ten years, said he had never known anything like this happen.

However, he said the pub had a memorial plaque dedicated to the crew of a Lancaster bomber who stayed on board their stricken aircraft to prevent it crashing into the village during World War Two.

York Press:

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has confirmed it is sending inspectors to North Yorkshire, to investigate the crash.

Police officers are set to remain at the scene with members of the Civil Aviation Authority as the investigation continues. 

More to follow