Search

Stunt pilot could lose damaged leg

PUBLISHED: 11:17 27 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK stunt pilot who nearly died in a horrific light aircraft plane crash in South Africa is to learn later today if he must have his damaged leg amputated.

A SUFFOLK stunt pilot who nearly died in a horrific light aircraft plane crash in South Africa is to learn later today if he must have his damaged leg amputated.

Andrew Harding, of Milden, near Hadleigh, said he had flown again in the last few months and was ready to face whatever news the consultants had for him today.

The 47-year-old property developer took the full force of the impact when the lightweight biplane he was a front passenger in failed to recover from a mid air spin manoeuvre and crashed near Johannesburg on January 23.

Most of his right foot and half of his face were torn off when the craft's undercarriage ripped through the bottom of the plane.

He shattered his back in three places, damaged internal organs and ruptured spinal nerves so severely that tendons in his left foot had to be surgically rebuilt.

Mr Harding, a director of the Ipswich based Deben Holdings which has property interests including the Golden Lion and Church's café bar in Ipswich, only gained consciousness six weeks after the crash.

He had hoped to make a full recovery and once he returned to Britain even set about designing a prosthetic ankle for himself. However six months after the accident he was able only to stand and not walk.

This will undoubtedly be a difficult time for the father-of-two who told The Evening Star his greatest loss would be if he was no longer able to go skiing with his two boys.

"I don't know if I will ever be 100 per cent again," he said in an interview in August.

"There were so many coincidences that happened after the accident. I know I am just lucky to be alive."


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star