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  1. ITV Report

Glider pilot dramatically winched to safety from treetops

A glider pilot had emergency services to thank after he crashed into trees before being winched to safety.

The unnamed man and his glider were left stuck in the top of trees, 50ft above the ground, after crashing at Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs.

The glider was stuck in such a precarious position that a helicopter crew had to winch the pilot to safety.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service requested assistance from HM Coastguard early on Sunday afternoon.

Helicopter rescuers then assessed that the glider was in such a precarious position that the pilot needed to be winched.

After he was extracted from the glider and the trees, the pilot was checked over for injuries.

HM Coastguard Helicopter Pilot, Jason Davies, said: "This was an unusual job, when we first arrived we were unsure, due to the precarious position of the glider, if we were going to be able to assist.

"There was a real possibility that the rotor wash of the helicopter could dislodge the glider and its pilot from the tree. Fortunately, the Fire Service and HART teams were able to secure the glider with ropes.

"The helicopter hovered at 200ft and kept a steady and stable position over the glider to minimise the rotor wash.

"The winching was tricky as he had crashed into a thick tree line, on a hillside, and the winchman had to navigate himself through the trees.

"Thankfully we were able to rescue the man who was met by his wife before being checked over by the ambulance service."