GLIDER TRAGEDY UPDATE: Eye witness says glider fell to the ground ‘like a falling leaf’

Scene of the fatal glider crash near the Laughton Road, Lubenham. NNL-160412-151327005

Scene of the fatal glider crash near the Laughton Road, Lubenham. NNL-160412-151327005

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An eye witness who saw yesterday’s (Sunday’s) tragic crash said the glider spiralled towards the ground “like a falling leaf”.

He initially thought it was a model aircraft being flown by local enthusiasts.

Police officers at the scene of the fatal glider crash near the Laughton Road, Lubenham. NNL-160412-151352005

Police officers at the scene of the fatal glider crash near the Laughton Road, Lubenham. NNL-160412-151352005

But he soon realised it was a glider when he got a bit closer.

As we reported yesterday, a glider pilot died after what is believed to be a mid-air collision with a light aircraft west of Market Harborough. The glider plunged into fields near Lubenham, at about 12.40pm.

Police said from initial enquiries at the scene, they believed the glider had been in collision with a light aircraft before crashing down into a field off Laughton Road.

Local farmer Melvyn Forman was on his narrowboat on the canal near Foxton when he saw several aircraft in the sky overhead. Later he saw one of the aircraft fall to the earth. He did not see any collision.

“I thought they were model aircraft and just thought ‘someone’s pulled the wrong lever’” said Mr Foreman. “But then when I went further along the canal, I saw the glider. There it was, a crumpled heap at the side of the canal. That’s when the reality set in.”

Emergency services were called out to an area off Laughton Road, near Lubenham, at about 1pm on (Sunday, December 4) following reports of a glider having crashed into the field.

Officers from Leicestershire Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are conducting a joint investigation to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

A police statement said: “From initial enquiries carried out at the scene, officers believe the glider had been in collision with a light aircraft prior to coming down in the fields. It has been confirmed that the light aircraft went on to land safely.”

The man was a member of the nearby Husbands Bosworth Gliding Club, based at Husbands Bosworth Airfield, and was on a local flight.

A spokesperson for the Gliding Club confirmed: “The pilot, who was a club member, has been fatally injured.”

The name of the man has not yet been released.