Glider crash near-miss

Julie Bennison was driving along West Green when she was nearly hit by a glider that was coming in to land too low and crash landed. In the background is the glider that just missed her car
Julie Bennison was driving along West Green when she was nearly hit by a glider that was coming in to land too low and crash landed. In the background is the glider that just missed her car

A Pocklington woman has spoken of her shock after a glider narrowly missed her car and crash landed at Pocklington airfield, leaving the pilot with serious injuries.

The man flying the glider was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary with suspected back injuries. An investigation is being carried out by the British Gliding Association.

Carer Julie Bennison, 56, who lives on West Green Drive, says she was driving down West Green when the glider whizzed past the front of her car. It landed on rough ground short of the runway.

She said: “My heart came into my mouth. In the corner of my eye I could see it coming across.

“It was literally just about six or eight foot off the ground. It is ridiculous, why do they have to go across the field so low?

“Something needs to be done. So many people walk along that road.”

Mrs Bennison added: “With what has happened on the motorway with 11 people killed you think what could have happened.

“If I had been there a few seconds earlier it would have definitely ploughed into the car. If someone had been walking down there at that time they could have been killed.”

The glider, which is not based at Pocklington, was taking part in a two-seater glider competition which was being held at the Wolds Gliding Club, based at Pocklington airfield. It had launched by aerotow from the airfield and was returning to land at the site.

The pilot was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary by air ambulance and has since been discharged. A second pilot on board was not injured.

In response to Mrs Bennison’s comments, Wolds Gliding Club chairman Graham Wadforth said: “It was clearly an accident, and accidents happen. If a car had spun in front of her on the motorway and missed her by a few yards would she have had the same reaction?”

Mr Wadforth added: “It was landing on the rough ground that caused the damage to the glider and injured the pilot. If he managed to fly another 20 or 30 yards he would have landed on the runway.”
“The pilot is not injured as badly as we first feared. We think he got a back injury. We hope he is going to make a complete recovery.”

When asked what may have caused the crash landing, Mr Wadforth said: “Perhaps he was a bit low. You’re always losing height unless you are given lift. Without prejudging anything he was perhaps a bit low and got into sinking air and there was nothing he could do about it.

“It’s the first accident we have had here in this competition. I can’t recall a flying accident here at Pocklington for a long time.”