Pilot seriously injured in crash near Bungay is said to be making “significant progress”

Maurice Hammond.

Maurice Hammond.

A pilot who was seriously injured when his plane crashed near Bungay, killing the passenger, is now speaking to his family after undergoing surgery last week.

Scene of air craft crash near the former RAF Hardwick. Photo Rob Coleman

Scene of air craft crash near the former RAF Hardwick. Photo Rob Coleman - Credit: Archant

Engineer Maurice Hammond, from Eye, had been flying one of his two Mustang planes when the crash happened close to the former RAF Hardwick airfield on Sunday, October 2.

After the crash he was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the 58-year-old is said to be making 'significant progress'.

In a statement released by Nik Coleman, a family friend of the Hammonds and who is acting as a spokesman for them, he said Mr Hammond still has a long way to go with his recovery.

Mr Coleman said: 'Maurice has made some significant progress. Most importantly he's speaking, talking with family and his memory is returning to normal as the drug and trauma effects fade. He's bravely taking very little pain medication.

'He is of course, and he won't mind me saying this, still very beaten up as you'd expect from being in a major vehicle accident. We want to be clear that he's physically got a great deal of recovery to do, but the prospects now look pretty good.

'He's working hard on breathing exercises and other rehab concurrent with his injuries. He's been able to sit in a chair for a little while and has been holding regular day-to-day conversation with his family.'

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The passenger of the plane, John Marshall, was a farmer and military history enthusiast from Willoughy Waterleys in Leicestershire.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is in the process of trying to determine how the Second World War fighter crashed after taking off from Hardwick airfield.

Mr Coleman added: 'We once again wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Marshall Family at this time and we are grateful and deeply moved by the concern and best wishes they have expressed for Maurice and his family.

'We also want to say thank you to all of you who continue to support everyone involved. We feel all your love and hope has helped Maurice pull through.'

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