Close shave for gliding pensioner

A GLIDING enthusiast was lucky to be alive today after his aircraft crashed into a Suffolk hedgerow.73-year-old John Hampton was gliding over north Suffolk, when he was forced to land in the village of Wortham near Diss.

A GLIDING enthusiast was lucky to be alive today after his aircraft crashed into a Suffolk hedgerow.

73-year-old John Hampton was gliding over north Suffolk, when he was forced to land in the village of Wortham near Diss.

But Mr Hampton's K6E glider missed the hayfield it was aiming for and careered straight into a 12ft hedge.

Emergency services were called to the aid of the pensioner at about 2.30pm.


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Mr Hampton, from Upminster in Essex, was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said: "Mr Hampton has been admitted and his condition is comfortable."

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Mr Hampton, a member of Essex Gliding Club in Ridgewell, had just flown from the club's site to Tibbenham in Norfolk and was making his way back to Essex when he crashed.

Don Ling, a fellow member of the Essex Gliding Club, said: "John flies at least twice a week. He is a bit of a gliding enthusiast.

"He would have been on his way back when he crashed, but we don't know why this happened.

"John would have been towed back by an aeroplane. But we don't know whether he arranged to be towed all the way back or just part of the way, intending to complete the rest of the journey alone.

"The aeroplane towing him may not have even known what happened."

The glider, worth about £7,000, was written off.

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