December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 19, 2013
The pilot of a light aircraft which crashed into a tree as it was coming in to land has been branded “very lucky” to have emerged almost unscathed from the wreckage.
Police, ambulance and three fire crews were confronted by this vision of a plane in a tree when they arrived at Taverham Road, Felthorpe on Saturday, having been called to reports of a light aircraft crash.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) said “fortunately” the pilot did not suffer serious injuries as a result of the crash, which was reported to the emergency services by a member of the public.
A spokesman for Felthorpe Flying Group Limited, which operates the Taverham Road-based airfield, said: “He was very lucky. He’s walked away with a scratch and, quite frankly, having seen the pictures myself for the first time, he was very lucky he’s got away with it.
“It’s one of those things in aviation and you go home and have a beer. He might be feeling the shock today but he walked out of it.”
The spokesman, who was not there at the time of the crash, said it was possible the pilot was just “caught by a gust of wind at a critical time on the approach”.
Pete Harris, the chairman of Felthorpe Flying Group, which is based at the airfield, was in Lincolnshire at the time of the crash but was informed of the incident on Saturday.
He said: “The aircraft had problems coming in to land. But the pilot stepped out of it and was later enjoying a beer in the clubhouse.
“He is an experienced pilot and has been flying for donkeys’ years. There was some damage caused to the aircraft, which was a Rallye.”
The crash was reported at just after 1pm on Saturday and prompted a major emergency response, including Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service sending crews from Earlham and Sprowston and the Fakenham water carrier to help make the scene safe.
A spokesman in the Norfolk Police control room said: “We had information from a member of the public who was driving along Taverham Road about a light aircraft which, while attempting to land at Felthorpe airstrip, had landed in a tree.”
The spokesman said the pilot “walked away” from the crash but was treated by the ambulance service for “minor injuries”.
He added that the plane was later “righted and put back on its wheels” before being taken away from the spot where it landed, which was close to the road.
An ambulance service spokesman said: “An ambulance officer and a rapid response vehicle attended the incident to assess the pilot. Fortunately he did not have any serious injuries and did not require transport to hospital.”
The Felthorpe Flying Group was started in about 1958 by a bunch of flying enthusiasts after being given fields from Beck Farm flying field at Felthorpe by Eric Jarvis before moving to the current field in 1964.
An arson attack in 2003 destroyed the hangar, clubhouse and nine aircraft but the hanger has since been refurbished and a replacement clubhouse installed.
Were you the pilot? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email email@example.com