Date: 20 January 2019
Location: The Cheviot, Northumberland National Park
Yesterday afternoon saw ourselves and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team involved in a dramatic and challenging multi-agency incident for a crashed glider. The pilot and glider had crashed high on the south east side of The Cheviot. After receiving the initial activation from Northumbria Police, the Teams were immediately called out and a hasty team of two members were deployed onto the hill within 40 minutes to try locate the crashed glider as soon as possible. Progress was hampered by snow storms and the low cloud base, which meant the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was unable to land near to the crash site.
Further Team members with a rescue equipment, the medical team from GNAAS and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service personnel with lightweight cutting equipment were then airlifted by the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick to Scald Hill. From there they had to make progress on foot to the crash site. By this time the Mountain Rescue hasty team had located the crashed glider. After which further hill parties were deployed with technical rope rescue kit to assist with lowering the stretcher to below the cloud base.
A 400m stretcher lower in darkness down the side of The Cheviot then followed to a location below the cloud base. Thankfully the Coastguard helicopter was able to land on and the glider pilot was transferred into the helicopter for a short flight to hospital.
The Teams would like to pay particular thanks to the two walkers who went to the aid of the pilot and remained with him until Mountain Rescue personnel arrived on scene. They did an exceptional job of keeping the pilot calm and provided him with additional clothing. We would also like to thank the game keeper who transported two Team members up onto the hill on his quad bike.
We hope the glider pilot makes a full and swift recovery from his ordeal.
The incident involved 29 members for eight hours.