A GLIDER pilot aged 74 broke both his legs after crashing to the ground in the Peak District.
The 74-year-old stalled his glider near the tiny hamlet of Abney, near Hathersage, and smashed into a tree.
Emergency services were alerted to the crash and volunteers from Edale and Buxton Mountain Rescue teams were deployed to help at the scene.
Derbyshire firefighters and police officers also raced to the pilot’s aid with paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Service.
When emergency services arrived they found the man upside down in the fuselage of his aircraft. Firefighters had to cut him free while he was receiving medical care.
Charlie Bartlett, Edale Mountain Rescue Team’s spokesman, said: “While the pilot was receiving medical care from an Edale team doctor and the crew of the air ambulance, fire service personnel helped to immobilise him and conduct a difficult extrication, considering the fact he was upside down in the fuselage of his aircraft, which had broken apart on impact with the tree.
“Hydraulic cutting gear was used by the fire service to cut some of the wreckage to free the pilot, who was trapped by his lower legs.
“The pilot, who was conscious and breathing throughout, was calm and cooperative despite what must have been a traumatic and painful experience.
“Once free, the pilot was carried on a stretcher by all available mountain rescue and fire service personnel up a steep and slippery bank before being reassessed and having his legs splinted. He had suffered fracture dislocations of both lower legs in the crash.”
Dr Steve Rowe, a member of the Edale team, said: “The job went very well, despite the difficulties of a tricky extrication, and all the organisations at the scene worked together to achieve a good outcome for the patient. It was a good example of inter-agency cooperation between all the emergency services.”
The pilot was flown to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at 1pm on Tuesday.