Helicopter crashes next to river Thames after going into a ‘spin’


The pilot of a helicopter which crashed near a river after going into a spin gave a “thumbs-up” as he escaped with minor injuries, a witness said.

An ambulance crew was called to Mapledurham estate next to the River Thames, near Reading, just before 6pm after a helicopter landed on its side with a “loud thud”.

A witness told the Press Association: “It flew over quite low and circled the playing field, it then went towards the river and flew along it. “It then started to look like it was coming into land, it then went below the tree line but we could see it go into a spin, next we heard a loud thud.

“We ran over and saw it was laying on its side, it was on the opposite side of the river to us but we could see someone over there and shouted if everyone got out ok, they gave us a thumbs up.

“Luckily there was no fire.”

The witness, who was at his son’s football training at the time, thought the pilot was “showing off”.
He said: “To be honest all those watching thought the pilot was showing off but naturally that was just an assumption.

“It wasn’t until we heard the crash we realised there was an issue. I couldn’t see anymore (people) other than the pilot.” A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said: “We got a call at 17:51 to reports of a helicopter that had come down.

“We sent two rapid-response vehicles, two ambulance officers and an ambulance crew.
They attended to “two adult males who sustained minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.”

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