A BRITISH pilot was killed yesterday when the Second World War fighter

he was flying crashed in France.

Mr John Larcombe, 54, was returning from an aerial display when the

American-designed King Cobra crashed at Essarts-le-Roi near Paris.

A Foreign Office spokesman said few details about the tragedy were

available yet. No other casualties were reported.

The aircraft Mr Larcombe was piloting was part of a private collection

from the Imperial War Museum airbase at Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

The museum director, Dr Alan Borg, said: ''I cannot really tell you a

great deal except that the accident took place over France. A number of

aircraft were returning to Britain from a display in France. The crash

occured, unfortunately, on that journey.''

Dr Borg confirmed that the aircraft belonged to a private collection

at Duxford. ''Our own aircraft at Duxford do not fly, but those of

private collections do,'' he said.

A police spokesman at Essarts-le-Roi said that the aircraft crashed at

about 8am. ''It came down in a field about 200 metres from some houses.

There was no other person involved and no one on the ground was hurt.''

He said the 1944 King Cobra was thought to have developed engine

trouble soon after take off.

It took part in a display near Paris on Sunday.