Pilot miraculously cheats death after crashing plane into ski lift

A dramatic rescue was launched in the Italian Alps after the pilot was thrown from his plane and ended up on the wing.

Dramatic pictures show a plane entangled in cables after the pilot was thrown from the aircraft in a crash in the Italian Alps.

The light aircraft was left dangling upside down in overhead cables after crashing into a ski lift in Lombardy in the north of the country.

The pilot, 62, was thrown from the plane on to the wing but had a “miraculous escape” along with his passenger, a 55-year-old tourist from Varese, who escaped physically unscathed.

The 62-year-old did not suffer serious injuries but was transported to hospital in Sondalo.

The pair was involved in a daring and complex 90-minute rescue operation involving 20 army personnel, firefighters and cave and mountain rescuers.

Rescuers spent 90 minutes saving the pilot and his passenger (Image: Stop Press)
The rescuers had to carefully manoeuvre along the cables slowly (Image: Stop Press)

The accident, at midday on Sunday, happened in Prato Valentino ski resort in Teglio, which is closed for the autumn.

A spokesman for the Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico, the national cave and mountain rescue unit, said it was “a miracle’ the two men survived.

Walter Milan said: “They really were very, very lucky. It was a miraculous escape. The plane crashed into the cables but fortunately it became stuck rather than crashing to the ground.

“The rescue operation was very tricky. The rescuers had to very carefully manoeuvre along the cables very, very slowly. We didn’t want the cables moving any more than necessary.

Amazingly, the passenger was completely unscathed (Image: Stop Press)
The light aircraft can be seen entangled in the cables (Image: Stop Press)

“Ropes were then secured around the two men. The whole operation to bring them to safety took an hour and a half.

“We had 20 rescue personnel and two helicopters involved.

“It was a miracle. The pilot suffered injuries but not too serious. Both men were of course very shocked also.”

The aircraft was dangling upside down (Image: Stop Press)

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Mountain guide Marco Confortola, who posted a video on Facebook showing him edging along the cable to reach the victims, said: “The mountain rescue service worked perfectly. [The operation was conducted] with speed and professionalism.”

An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the crash.

Mr Milan said: “There are a number of possible reasons for the crash such as human error or a mechanical failure but we do not want to speculate. There is an investigation.”

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