Miracle as glider crash lands in front garden and pilot walks away unhurt

May 16, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A pensioner had a lucky escape when a GLIDER missed his house by a few feet and crashed – in his front GARDEN.

Shocked Mike Baber, 72, was watching television with his wife Eileen when they heard a loud “thud” come from outside their home.

Mike went out into the garden and was stunned to see a single-seat glider had crashed into his garden hedge, with a wing resting on the roof of his garage.

The ASW aircraft had been badly damaged, with the cockpit virtually in pieces, but the 49-year-old pilot amazingly walked away from the crash uninjured.

The pilot was attempting to land at Bicester Gliding Club when the aircraft came down next to Mike’s house at 5.30pm on Thursday.

Mike, a retired company director from Bicester in Oxfordshire, said he had been watching England beat Sri Lanka in the 20/20 cricket World Cup when he heard the crash.

He said “I just heard this loud thud and I came outside and saw the glider stuck in our garden. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“It was rush hour so there were a lot of cars on the road and it could have been so much worse. It was a miracle that the pilot survived.

“I am very pleased the pilot did not hit anything on the road and we are very lucky as well that there is no damage to any of our cars or to our house.

“In the end we were just left with a few scratches to our garage roof and the pilot walked away without a scratch on him.”

The glider was lodged in Mike’s hedge for about one hour until members of the gliding club arrived to dismantle the aircraft and take it away.

Grandmother-of-two Eileen, 63, added: “It was just incredible. I was sitting in the study at the computer and suddenly heard a loud clatter. I went outside and saw the tail end of the glider sticking up over one of our cars.

“The pilot clambered out, he was in a state of shock but he said, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m so sorry’. We do see the gliders coming over quite low and wondered how close they’d come to us one day.”

An investigation into the cause of the accident has been launched and has been delegated to the British Gliding Association by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

A spokesman for the Windrushers Gliding Club, of which the pilot is a member, said he overshot his landing while coming in to Bicester airfield.

He said: “It was a privately owned glider coming into land back here at Bicester, but it overshot. We are very relieved he is unhurt and no-one else was involved in the crash.

“Gilders are very safe. There are thousands of glider flights every week in the UK and this was very much an isolated incident.”

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