Lucky escape: Three people uninjured after two aircraft crash land near Wareham (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Lucky escape: Three people uninjured after two aircraft crash land near Wareham
THREE people had a miraculous escape when two aircraft crash landed shortly after take-off.
A tug aircraft – with an 83-year-old pilot – was towing a glider when it developed engine problems after taking off from Dorset Gliding Club near Wareham.
Both planes crash-landed on MOD land at Bovington camp shortly after 11am on Sunday.
The tug aircraft was badly damaged but the pilot walked away uninjured, as did the pilot and passenger of the glider.
The pilot of the Auster Husky tug was 83-year-old Bill Cook, from Ringwood, who has been flying planes for more than 40 years. “This is the first time I’ve pranged any,” he said.
He said the take-off had gone normally until the engine stopped developing power at around 30ft and he could not increase speed.
He said he aimed to land on a military road at Bovington.
“I got it lined up to land down the road but unfortunately the right wing tip clipped a tree and span me around and dumped me on the ground,” he said.
“I slid along the ground backwards and totally wrote the plane off.”
“As it span, I thought ‘This is going to hurt’. Then it was all quiet and I was sitting there thinking ‘What am I going to do now?’ “I’m going to check my premium bond now because I might be having a very lucky day,” he added.
He said it was fortunate there were no vehicles on the MOD road.
Dave Piercy, chairman of Dorset Gliding Club and a gliding instructor, was piloting the glider.
He said: “I recognised that the tug was losing power and we weren’t climbing.
“After a few seconds I realised it wasn’t getting better and I released.”
He explained the situation to his passenger – a member of the public who he said remained very calm.
Mr Piercy said: “I got on doing the best landing I could in the space available.”
He found a spot to land between some trees on the heath land.
Club member Dave Bamber ran to his car to call the police helicopter. The glider was found by people scramble biking at Bovington.
Mr Bamber praised the emergency services and MOD for their response.
The MOD assisted the club to recover the two aircraft.
Dorset Police are investigating the incident and the Civil Aviation Authority was made aware.
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