Paraglider plummets into field

SURGERY had to be carried out on a paraglider at Firle Beacon on Saturday where his aircraft fell more than 40ft before crashing into a field.

The pilot, 51, from Nottingham, was visiting the South Downs when his aircraft got into difficulties and plummeted to the field below.

Emergency services were called to the scene high above the Firle village with reports he was unable to move below the waist.

The South East Coast Immediate Care Scheme (SIMCAS) trauma expert Dr Rowley Cottingham, accident and emergency consultant at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, said: “This was a superb joint effort.

“This man had multiple injuries and was at the top of the South Downs and was only really accessible by 4-wheel drive and helicopter.

“SIMCAS allows us to put doctors where patients need us and this case exemplifies the importance of that.

“He needed a specific surgical procedure before we could get him into the aircraft, and I was able to carry that out with help from my HEMS colleague.”

The pilot was taken to the new Major Trauma Centre in Brighton by Surrey Air Ambulance. He is recovering from serious injuries in intensive care.