A BRIT pilot has died in a horror glider crash after crashing into a tree while landing.
The 75-year-old aviation enthusiast died from his injuries after his aircraft hit the ground at the foot of the Pyrenees.
He was injured after crashing into trees on the runway while landing at Santa Cilia airfield near the northern Spanish town of Jaca.
Emergency services received an alert at around 4pm yesterday that he was conscious and complaining of neck pain.
According to local reports, he was alive for about 40 minutes after the accident, but was pronounced dead at the scene after losing consciousness and suffering cardiac arrest.
Members of an aviation club, who knew him well because he had visited the airfield for more than 20 years, were said to have been with him in the minutes after the accident.
Airfield director Luis Ferreira said: “We are all devastated.”
The dead man, whose name has not been officially released, is said to have been a regular at the airfield since 1999 and was a member of another flying club in Britain, where he worked as a cook.
The investigation into the accident is currently ongoing.
Photos from the scene showed the damaged glider in the undergrowth near the runway, with its left wing leaning against a fallen tree.
Caution tape had been placed around the fixed-wing aircraft.
The deceased was traveling alone in a single-seater glider.
An unnamed acquaintance quoted in a local newspaper said: “We saw him coming from the airfield to land. “Maybe he flew a little too fast and high, but we’ll have to wait and see what the investigation reveals.”
“We have known him for a long time. He was a cook at a very important flying club in south London.
“Because of his passion for flying, he sometimes spent up to four months a year here.”
Yesterday’s accident was the first in the province of Huelva, which includes Jaca.
The Santa Cilia airfield is considered one of the best places in Spain for gliding, as the thermals and air currents in the area make it a reference point for amateurs and professionals.
Thanks to its location at the foot of the Pyrenees, it is possible to enjoy a pleasure flight over the spectacular Pyrenees.
The airfield hosted the Spanish National Gliding Championships in 2010 and is visited annually by hundreds of glider pilots from all over Europe.