A British pilot, so far unnamed – described only as 70 years old – died yesterday (Thursday) after the ultralight plane he was flying crashed to the ground close to the busy EN125 at Quelfes, in the borough of Olhão.
The plane, carrying no passengers, fell “very close to a house and a restaurant”, reports região sul.
A “small flying club” operates on land at the back of the restaurant, the paper adds.
By the time emergency teams reached the victim, he was in cardiorespiratory arrest, with death declared “at the spot”.
Tabloid Correio da Manhã suggests the flight was the pilot’s second of the day. His first went ahead normally, and then he took off again, says the paper – adding that shortly after 5pm eye-witness reports say the plane started “whirling in the air” and then came crashing down.
A similar description was given by an eye-witness to yet another tragedy at Alvor aerodrome, when an American sky-diver hit the ground very badly on Tuesday and had to be rushed to hospital.
Comments online include one from the eye-witness who said: “I saw the skydiver on Tuesday while I was driving out of Portimao; it appeared the chute was tangled and he was spinning rapidly while falling like a stone”.
The man remains in intensive care in Portimão Hospital where a spokesman said it was difficult to give any kind of update.
“Intensive care implies the situation is very serious. If it improves and he is moved from intensive care, we will let you know”.
As online commentary attests, this was only the latest in a litany of accidents at the Alvor aerodrome – four of them fatal in less than three years (click here).
A spokesperson for the Skydive Algarve said the company could not give any details, as the accident is currently under investigation.
The “person responsible” for the club is the only one authorised to answer questions about safety, and she is not due on site for another few days, said the spokesperson – stressing she could not give out her superior’s name, either.
In the meantime, the Resident has been in touch with SkydiveAlgarve’s ‘parent company’ in Hibaldstow (UK) for some kind of statement.
According to its website, Skydive Algarve is the “newest addition to the Swallow Group, which includes Skydive Hibaldstow in the UK and Skydive Spain, near Seville”.