Impact: A cloud of smoke rises up from the site of the collision just seconds after the crash
This amateur video footage captures the moment two Red Arrow display planes collide on a training exercise over Crete.
The dramatic scenes took place on Tuesday as the RAF aerobatic team carried out their annual pre-season training.
The excitement of the tourist taking the video quickly turns to terror as he realises the jets have hit each other, with one of the pilots forced to eject.
Witnesses reported that the plane appeared to touch the wing tip of another Red Arrows plane before crashing on to the runway at Kastelli Military Airport.
The white vapor-trails from the two jets can be seen in the middle of the picture moments before pilots are forced to take evasive action. They collide near the hill seen in the centre of the video screen-shot
Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling parachuted to the ground after ejecting from his £5million plane at a height of 300 metres - moments before the aircraft crashed and was 'totally destroyed'.
Police on the Greek island said Flt Lt Ling escaped with only a dislocated shoulder.
The pilot of the second plane, Flt Lt Dave Montenegro, landed safely alongside the squadron's other seven planes at Iraklio Airport - some 22 miles from the scene of the accident.
The squadron is made up of 11 pilots - the first nine of whom fly in the famous 'Diamond Nine' formation, which has been performed at more than 4,200 displays.
Escape: Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling, blood running from his wounds, is rushed to a Crete hospital in a neck brace after surviving the crash by parachuting from his jet
Horror crash: A man, believed to be an RAF engineer, examines the wreckage of the lucky pilot's plane in Crete
The first female to fly with the Red Arrows, Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore, joined the team this year.
During the past four months, the aerobatic team has been involved in intensive training for the air show season.
The squadron is usually based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Its training abroad is called 'Operation Springhawk' and is divided between Crete and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
The group had been in Greece for only three days when the accident happened and are not due to return to the UK until May 25.
Damage: The other Hawk jet that survived the accident. The tip of its tail and the back wing tip both appear to have snapped off
Paramedics carry the pilot into the hospital. He escaped with a dislocated shoulder
A British embassy official initially said that Greek and British air force experts believed the plane had crashed due to engine failure. However, Greek radio claimed that witnesses maintained the crash was caused when two planes touched wings.
The alleged collision may have been caught on camera, as the Red Arrows practice sessions are often filmed to help them hone their display before the busy summer season.
After training is complete, they must perform before the RAF's top brass, who decide if they qualify for a Public Display Authority.
Without it, they would not be able to perform in displays already booked for this year - and no team has failed to secure its PDA since the squadron's first public display at Biggin Hill in Kent in 1965.
There have been Red Arrow crashes before - notably when a Hawk crashed into a house in Welton, Lincolnshire, in 1987.
Lucky escape: Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling, left, suffered a dislocated shoulder in the crash, while Flight Lieutenant David Montenegro landed safely without injury
Air of danger: British Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team perform in Crete on Monday
Last night an MoD spokesman said: 'We can confirm that an incident has occurred involving the Red Arrows whilst undertaking pre-season training at Hellenic Air Force Base Kastelli in Crete.
A service inquiry will be convened to identify the cause of the crash. It is not appropriate to comment further at this stage.'
An RAF spokesman confirmed that Flt Lt Lingwas taken to Kastelli hospital for treatment after he sustained 'a dislocated shoulder and minor injuries'.
They added that his aircraft was 'severely damaged on impact with the runway'.
The squadron's remaining eight planes landed safely at Iraklio Airport - some 22 miles away from the scene of the mid-air drama.
'Two Hawk aircraft from the Royal Air Force Red Arrows Aerobatic Team collided whilst undertaking pre-season training at Hellenic Air Force Base Kastelli in Crete,' the spokesman said.
'An investigation into the cause of the incident will shortly be under way and the 2010 season training will continue as soon as possible.'
Ten Hawks and a C130 Hercules left RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on Saturday and travelled to Crete via France and Italy.
The Red Arrows, including the first female pilot Kirsty Moore, back row far left, pose for a photo in Crete before the incident
The Red Arrows, formed in 1965, have completed more than 4,000 displays in 53 countries and are renowned for their spectacular displays.
Many Red Arrows pilots and support staff have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The aerobatics group usually spend hours honing their display before it is seen by hundreds of thousands of people each summer.
The team boasts the motto 'eclat' - the French for 'excellence'.
During the past four months the Red Arrows team has been involved in intensive training for the 2010 air show season.
Led by Squadron Leader Ben Murphy they are normally based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire