A SECOND World War bomber grounded by an oil leak that crippled one of its engines has finally left the region after a five-day repair mission.

The Mynarski Memorial Lancaster thrilled onlookers during a dramatic flypast at Durham Tees Valley Airport, near Darlington, last Thursday (August 28).

It was grounded a day later when an oil leak during a 30-minute demonstration flight took out the outer starboard engine.

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It had been in a hangar at the airport ever since, while engineers worked to replace the engine.

On Tuesday evening, a test on the new engine was unsuccessful.

A successful engine test was performed today (Wednesday, September 3), followed by a short test flight.

After the test flight, the Lancaster was able to take off again, bound for its next port of call, RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire.

It took off from the airport on its test run at 1.05pm and left for Coningsby at 1.25pm, where it landed safely shortly after 2pm.

As a thank you to the volunteers who have helped get the Lancaster back in the air, its owner, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, offered four seats on the test run to some of the enthusiasts.

David Thompson, of the Cleveland Aviation Society, was not one of those whose number came up.

But he praised the Canadians' gesture, adding: "Those Canadian engineers performed a minor miracle, so far from home and with limited resources, and I cannot praise them enough.

"It was a very magnanimous gesture to offer up the seats on the test flight.

"I think they normally sell flights in the Lancaster for about £3,500 – so it will have been a dream come true for some of the lads."

Affectionately known as Vera, the Mynarski Lancaster, which is on a two-month tour of the UK from its base in Ontario, had to be withdrawn from a string of engagements following Friday's oil leak.

It is named after Canadian airman Andrew Mynarski, who flew missions from the airport during the war, when it was known as RAF Goosepool.

He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for attempting to save the life of his crewmate after they took enemy fire over France in June 1944.