Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Pilot charged over Farage 'threats'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was injured during the polling day stunt
The pilot of the plane which crashed and injured Nigel Farage has been charged with threatening to kill the Ukip leader

The pilot of the plane which crashed and injured Nigel Farage during a polling day stunt has been charged with threatening to kill the Ukip leader.

Justin Adams, 45, had been contracted to fly the light aircraft which nose-dived to the ground while towing a campaign banner on May 6.

Mr Farage, who escaped with broken ribs, bruised lungs and facial injuries, later declared himself "the luckiest man alive" and said he feared he would burn to death in the wreckage on General Election day.

Adams was arrested at his home in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, on Sunday.

He has been remanded in custody at Oxfordshire Magistrates' Court and will appear again on December 7 over the charges, which are not related to the crash.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report found the PZL-104 Wilga 35A came down after the banner reading: "Vote for your country: Vote UKIP", became wrapped around the tail of the aircraft.

This caused the plane's nose to drop and although Adams "maintained some control of the aircraft", he could not prevent it crashing into a field at Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Northamptonshire.

Mr Farage, 46, who failed in his bid to oust Commons Speaker John Bercow from his Buckingham seat, was rescued as fuel poured out into the cockpit.

He emerged dressed in a pin-stripe suit, blue shirt and tie, with a UKIP rosette still attached after his harness was released by witnesses. He was unable to attend the count at Aylesbury Civic Centre and was instead transferred to hospital for treatment.

Adams, who had been trapped in the wreckage of the aircraft for a time, also required medical treatment.

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