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Dec 29, 2003

Plane crash leaves pilot badly injured

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Around five-thirty on Friday evening, a pilot from the Mennonite community of Blue Creek took off on his last flight in a day of pleasure flying. But as the aircraft, a single engine V-max piloted by twenty-five year old Norman Rempel, circled at one hundred feet, something went terribly wrong. As those on the ground watched in horror the plane started to spin out of control and plummeted toward earth, finally crashing into the ground. Rempel was pulled from the wreckage delirious and badly injured. He was flown to Belize City and quickly transported to Universal Health Services where he remains hospitalised. While Rempel was in no condition to speak with the media, his brother, John Rempel, told News 5 that Norman is very lucky to be alive.

John Rempel, Brother

“Basically it all started out as a day of festivity, really. It was on the twenty-sixth of December, which in our community is still considered a Christmas holiday, family gatherings and so forth. Himself and a group of friends they had arranged to go flying that evening at four o’clock, which they did. He had flown earlier in the day, earlier in the afternoon and he took off at five-thirty. There were about three other guys up in the air with three other aircraft basically everybody was enjoying the beautiful evening out. It was a beautiful day, you know sunshine day, cool day, as perfect as you would want it for flying. And basically as far as we can find out what happened to him, I wasn’t out there personally, I didn’t go, but I have spoken to other people who were there. He did a touch and go and pulled out of that, got up in the air about a hundred feet and turning to come back down on his final landing when he lost control and he went into a spin and slammed into the ground.”

Rempel suffered a fractured neck, broken rib, and broken right thigh. He is expected to fully recover…and one day return to the pilot’s seat.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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