Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

THE pilot of a para­chute plane who died af­ter a crash at Head­corn Aero­drome near Maid­stone on Sun­day has been named as Steven Davis. Mr Davis, 36, had been trapped in the cock­pit of the de Hav­il­land Beaver sin­gle-en­gined air­craft. He was taken to the Royal Lon­don Hospi­tal where he died from his in­juries. The air­craft had been car­ry­ing eight parachutists. It was tak­ing off on a lift shortly af­ter 4pm when it slewed across the run­way and smashed into a static vin­tage air­craft. Jane Buckle, man­ager of Head­corn Para­chute Club, said Mr Davis had worked at the club for only a month. He was an ex­pe­ri­enced pilot with a com­mer­cial li­cence. One of the pas­sen­gers was badly hurt and is be­ing treated at Maid­stone Hospi­tal. His in­juries are not thought to be life-threat­en­ing. A third pa­tient, an 18-year-old girl suf­fer­ing from shock, was also taken to Maid­stone Hospi­tal. Fire crews from Ten­ter­den, Maid­stone, Ash­ford and Mar­den were called to the scene. The tragedy is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Air Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch.

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing af­ter £48 mil­lion di­vorcee Bev­erly Char­man was tied up and robbed at gun­point. The 53-year-old for­mer wife of in­sur­ance mag­nate John Char­man was at home in Sevenoaks, when a gun­man in a bal­a­clava broke in at 9.40pm on Fri­day. He forced her to open a safe and hand over sev­eral thou­sand pounds worth of jew­ellery. It is thought the thief had an im­i­ta­tion firearm or BB gun. Mrs Char­man was found by her son at about 10pm. She was not hurt in the in­ci­dent.

PO­LICE have iden­ti­fied a young road sweeper killed while pick­ing up lit­ter from a grass verge. Damian Grif­fiths, 20, died af­ter a crash in­volv­ing the refuse truck from which he was work­ing. The young man, who lived in Northview, Swan­ley, was work­ing for Ton­bridge and Malling coun­cil at East Peck­ham, on March 2, when the tragedy hap­pened. He was on the busy dual car­riage­way when the col­li­sion oc­curred be­tween his refuse truck and a heavy goods ve­hi­cle. Both driv­ers were shocked but un­hurt. An inquest has been ad­journed.

A MASKED youth held a bread knife to the throat of a for­eign stu­dent and hit an­other one in the head with a traf­fic cone dur­ing an in­ci­dent in the street. De­tec­tives say the Czech young­sters had left the Mar­lowe Academy in Stir­ling Way, on Rams­gate’s New­ing­ton es­tate, when they be­came the tar­get of racial abuse.

A GAS blast which ripped through a cou­ple’s house wrecked most of the ground floor and killed about 100 budgeri­gars and a cock­a­too. The blast hap­pened when a por­ta­ble gas can­is­ter ex­ploded. Home owner David Brown and his wife, Sarah, nar­rowly avoided be­ing caught in the ex­plo­sion on Fri­day. The cou­ple, from Im­pe­rial Road, Gilling­ham, man­aged to es­cape af­ter flee­ing through their front door. Fire­fight­ers say they are lucky to be alive.

Pic­ture: Grant Falvey

The plane that crashed at Head­corn Aero­drome, killing the pilot

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