Humberside

Withernsea plane crash pilot climbs cliffs to nearby house for help

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Media captionTony Johnson described how the pilot was "soaking wet" after he climbed cliffs to his house seeking help

A pilot whose light aircraft crash landed on a beach had to climb cliffs to get to a nearby house for help.

The plane came down near Newsham Gardens in Withernsea shortly before 11:35 BST on Wednesday.

Tony Johnson said: "My wife was cleaning the windows when she noticed the man in the front garden, absolutely covered in mud and soaking wet.

"She opened the window and said 'can we help you?' and he said 'yes, I'm the pilot. I've just crashed my plane".

Mr Johnson said he was told the pilot had "sent a signal out for help" after his plane crashed but "nothing had happened".

"So he decided to climb up the cliffs and walk down Holmpton Road and ours was the first house that he came across.

"We got him into the house... we dried him off and made him a cup of tea and I actually called the coastguard at Bridlington... then I dialled 999.

Image copyright Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Image caption The wreckage has been washed up on the beach, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency say

"He was compos mentis. He was able to talk to us and he was quite clear in his conversation.

"He damaged his left leg and ripped his trousers, but we'd given him some more clothing."

'Plane went over backwards'

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had received a "distress beacon alert" at about 11:35 and the pilot had been "able to clear himself from the wreckage and make his way up a cliff to a nearby house".

He was the only person on board the aircraft, the agency added.

Mr Johnson said: "The plane actually tried to land on a landing strip and looks as though it missed it, probably due to a north-westerly wind and it went over backwards onto the beach."

Humberside Police said the pilot sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital.

A spokesperson said: "A light aircraft has crashed close to the cliffs. The pilot managed to exit the plane before it left the cliff and entered the sea."

The Air Accident Investigation Branch had been informed, police said.

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