Scotland

Scottish paraglider pilot dies after New Zealand crash

Queenstown, New Zealand
Image caption Mr Letham was on a solo flight near Queenstown

A Scottish paraglider pilot has died after crashing in New Zealand.

Ben Letham, 26, was on a solo flight near Queenstown on the South Island when he crashed on Saturday.

The professional pilot, who was originally from Lochgilphead in Argyll, came down in the grounds of a primary school.

Witnesses reported that Mr Letham, who had been flying for six years, had gone head over heels before landing on his back.

He was described by the owner of his paragliding company in New Zealand as "a really nice guy and a talented pilot".

Gavin Taylor, of GForce Paragliding, said: "Ben would have done thousands of flights at this site, both commercially and recreationally, but on this day he was flying with his own equipment using a single person wing.

"Our whole team is absolutely devastated by his death. He was a really nice guy, a talented pilot, and we're stunned to lose one of the youngest members of our team with his whole life ahead of him.

"We've lost a close colleague and friend who will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his partner, friends and family."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the death.

A spokesman said: "We are providing assistance to the family of a British man who sadly died in Queenstown, New Zealand."

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