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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 22:05 GMT 23:05 UK
Search finds missing glider pilot
Mr Russell in the crashed glider. Image courtesy of the RAF
Mr Russell was trapped in the wreckage of his glider
A missing pilot who was trapped in the wreckage of his glider for more than 24 hours has been found alive by rescue teams near Braemar in Aberdeenshire.

A massive search had been under way for the man and his aircraft in the Cairngorms since Monday afternoon.

John Russell, 64, from the York area, had taken off from the Deeside Gliding Club near Aboyne. The alarm was raised when he failed to return.

It is understood the pilot was able to wave to a searching RAF Tornado.

Two helicopters had spent most of Tuesday passing over a large area of the Highlands looking for the man.

The RAF Tornado, using heat seeking equipment, other glider pilots and mountain rescue teams were also involved in the search.

The experienced pilot, who is also an instructor, took off about 1020 BST on Monday and had been planning to fly around Loch Moy and Boat of Garten as well as the Inverness area.

This is a classic example of why you never give up on a search, even 24 hours down the line
Michael Mulford
RAF Scotland

The alarm was raised at 2120 BST on Monday by club members after his single-seat T shaped tailplane glider failed to return.

A spokesman for Grampian Fire and Rescue said they were called to cut the man from the wreckage of the glider.

It is understood he has been airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where is receiving treatment for a broken ankle and cuts and bruises.

Michael Mulford, of RAF Scotland, said: "One of the three Tornados we used sighted the wreckage and saw a man trapped within it waving.

"A fire team was then called to extricate the man from the wreckage."

He added: "It is unbelievable that this man has probably been stuck for over 24 hours and he must have begun to wonder if anyone would ever find him in such an inhospitable and remote place.

"When they finally write the book on rescues, this is going to be high up on page one.

"This is a classic example of why you never give up on a search, even 24 hours down the line."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See footage of the pilot in his crashed glider



SEE ALSO
RAF helicopter runway crash scare
03 Jul 06 |  North East/N Isles

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