AN air show organiser has partly blamed a change in location for an aircraft crash that broke a pilot’s bones.

Neil Porter spoke to the Oxford Mail yesterday for the first time since the Abingdon Air and Country Show on Sunday, in which a light aircraft plummeted to the ground during a display.

Mr Porter said the incident was likely to be the result of engine failure, but admitted a revised layout of the event meant everyone was in unfamiliar territory.

He said: “It’s been successful for the past 17 years but this year we had to turn [the location] around because of safety. It’s the first time we’ve done it on the eastern side of the airfield, so it was all brand new to us.

“Safety is paramount and so we turned it 180 degrees so [aircraft] would fly out towards the west, which is less populated.

“It was completely new to us - we were starting over, in effect. I had told the team to expect problems this year.”

Mr Porter said they were ‘following procedures’ by switching sides, referring to new regulations that advise air show organisers to keep aircraft away from built-up areas.

He praised emergency services and said everyone was ‘well prepared’.

Mr Porter said the Twister Aerobatics pilot who crashed, who has not been named, was ‘very experienced’ and is expected to make a full recovery.

Colin Smith, who is involved in marketing the annual show, posted a public message on Facebook echoing that the change in location ‘threw us a lot of curve-balls’. He pledged that ‘ lessons will be learnt’ and thanked spectators for their support.

He said the pilot suffered two broken vertebrae and a sternum injury.