This is the emotional moment a Spitfire bearing the names of thousands of heroes of the coronavirus pandemic flew above Basingstoke.

Spectators gathered at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital from 3.30pm on Saturday to witness the event. The aircraft flew over at around 4pm.

The crowds of around 50 people erupted into applause as the historic aircraft flew ahead.

The blue Spitfire PL983 'L' performed a flypast 27 hospitals across the south east - emblazoned with the names of 80,000 NHS heroes to raise money for NHS Charities Together. So far, more than £20,000 has been donated.

John Romaine, pilot and founder of the Aircraft Restoration Company, said: "It's been fantastic. To see the people on the ground waving at you is humbling. The reaction from the people on the ground and the support has been amazing."

Basingstoke resident and Gazette Camera Club member Stacey Smith said when she saw the plane, "I don't see a silhouette of a plane. I see strength, hope and courage."

The Gazette broadcast the moment live to Facebook with dozens describing the moment as "emotional and tear-jerking". The video is available to watch on The Gazette's Facebook page.

The plane took off on its first route from Duxford Airfield, near Cambridge, at 11am before flying over Southend University Hospital and 17 others before landing at Goodwood Aerodrome at 12:30pm.

It took off from Goodwood Aerodrome in Chichester, West Sussex, at 3pm before flying over the Queen Alexandra Hospital NHS in Portsmouth.

It flew over a further 10 hospitals before landing back at Duxford.