'I was lucky to walk away' - Flying fundraiser describes crash drama
- Credit: Dan Jones Photography
A flying fundraiser has said he was lucky to walk away unscathed after his stuttering paramotor glided haplessly into a tree.
It happened in Weston-super-Mare, while Norwich paramotor pilot Daniel Jones was working his way through a mammoth nationwide journey from John O'Groats to Land's End.
The 27-year-old spent more than 34 hours airborne across the space of a week during the challenge, which he was carrying out on behalf of Alzheimer's Research UK - and has seen his fundraising fast approaching the £10,000 mark.
He completed the challenge on Monday, which was in memory of his grandparents, but it could have been completely different were it not for a stroke of good fortune in the Somerset resort.
On taking off, Mr Jones noticed his motor was slightly spluttering but decided to persist with his flight - a decision he now regrets.
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He had barely been in the air three minutes before gusts of strong wind saw him lose control, barely missing a hedge before veering into a tree.
He said: "I was lucky to walk away unscathed really. I did come down quite hard and rolled onto my side - I was extremely lucky.
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"The only damage I really did was smashing my spare altometer - so I think my grandparents were definitely watching over me in that moment.
"In hindsight, I probably should've checked my spark plugs and not taken off until I had sorted to engine, but I made it in the end."
The challenge saw him spent a total of 34 hours and five minutes in the air over the course of a week - which he said was more time than he ordinarily would have flown in a year.
He added: "It was really physically drained by the time I made it to Land's End but it was also an incredible feeling. It was exhausting but I was just so happy to complete the challenge and the support I had was overwhelming.
"But it was a phenomenal experience, once in a lifetime and I was so lucky to be able to have it."
To support his fundraising, search for Flight Against Alzheimer's on Just Giving.