Glider Crash At Beachy Head

Two men have been rescued after a glider crashed into the sea at Beachy Head on Saturday.

HM Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public on top of the cliffs reporting a sighting of an aircraft going into the water but without an accurate location.  At the same time, a light aircraft pilot flying for Oscar Romeo Aviation Ltd in the Beachy Head area, reported an accurate position to the Coastguard.  

The pilot had spotted a glider flying low and witnessed the crash landing in the sea.  Having returned and circled around the glider's debris in the water, the pilot was able to relay accurate information to HM Coastguard which resulted in a speedy response from the Coastguard rescue helicopter and Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI life boats.  Coastguard rescue teams from Eastbourne and Birling Gap were also sent.  The Coastguard rescue helicopter winched the two people from the glider from the base of the cliffs and they were recovered safely to the top of Beachy Head.  The two men did not require medical attention.  

Ashley Rawson, Aeronautical Operations Controller at HM Coastguard said, 
"The professionalism and quick thinking displayed by a passing pilot has contributed to a faster rescue response due to the accurate location information.  Luckily both glider occupants were unscathed and did not spend long in the sea. I would encourage all general aviation pilots to adopt such airmanship and observe and report incidents via the correct means, (via the Distress & Diversion Cell)."

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