‘Miracle’ escape for helicopter pilot who crashed into field


A pilot had a ‘miracle’ escape after he lost control of his helicopter and flew into power lines – before crashing in a field.

The man was flying low over a village when he was heard careering into a series of overheard electric cables.

Onlookers heard a ”loud bang” as the chopper touched the power lines which ripped the rotaries off.

The Hughes 500 helicopter came hurtling down into a field in a ”shower of sparks” with fuel leaking from the tank.

But incredibly the pilot was able to scramble free from the wreckage and was airlifted to hospital with minor injuries.

The helicopter crashed in Poundsgate near Newton Abbott, Devon, at around 5.30 pm on Monday.

June Hamill, landlady of the local Tavistock Inn, said: ”I heard a helicopter come across and it was a bit low and hit the power cables and disintegrated.

“It was a big bang and as it hit the power cables the rotaries came off and landed everywhere, and the helicopter just tipped into the field.

“The paramedics pulled him out and saw to his wounds, then the air ambulance, fire engines and police cars all came up soon afterwards.

“He had a big cut on his head and other cuts but he was sitting in a chair and they kept him talking.”

The pilot, of Exeter, Devon, survived and was treated for minor injuries at the scene before being airlifted to hospital.

Emergency services who attended the scene switched off the power lines and closed a nearby road while debris was cleared away.

A police spokesman said: ”When police arrived a helicopter was found to have collided with power lines with the aircraft hitting the ground in a field, suffering severe damage and was lying on its side.

”The pilot was treated for minor injuries at the scene and taken to hospital by air ambulance. Nobody else was involved in the incident.”

The wreckage of the helicopter remained in the field and the incident has been reported to the Air Accident Investigation Branch.


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