Praise for 999 teams in Chipping glider crash

A gliding club chairman has praised emergency services for their swift action after an aircraft nosedived to the ground leaving two casualties trapped in the wreckage.

Thursday, 24th September 2015, 8:01 am

Two air ambulances were mobilised to the incident at Chipping when the crash happened, leaving the instructor and his female passenger trapped in the stricken glider’s wrecked cockpit.

The duo, the pilot aged 53 and the woman who is 57, were airlifted separately to the Royal Preston Hospital suffering from leg injuries but they were both released after treatment.

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Mr Bob Pettifer, who is Chairman of the Bowland Forest Gliding Club, said: “I would like to thank all the emergency services for their swift response to the incident and how they dealt with it.

“We have a strict procedure in place for emergencies and this was followed to the last detail. Luckily there was a doctor on site as the accident happened who tended to the casualties before the air ambulance arrived.

“They were both conscious and breathing so it was a case of keeping them warm and calm until help arrived.”

The crash happened during what is called a “failed launch” exercise which is designed to replicate what would happen during a problem-hit take off.

“It is not clear what went wrong but the glider has since been examined and no faults have been found on it.”

Mr Pettifer added: “Fortunately accidents of this type are very rare.”

The accident, which happened just before noon on Sunday at Lower Cock Hill Farm, Fiddler’s Lane, has been reported to the Civil Aviation Authority and an inquiry will be held by Air Accident investigation branch.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “It would appear the glider was taking off and it just nosedived straight down.

“The two people were trapped in the aircraft - which suffered severe front end damage - and had to be extracted by firefighters. They were both put on spinal boards and taken to hospital.

“Two separate air ambulances attended the scene. We have since heard that they are not seriously hurt, fortunately just bumps and bruises.”