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Dorset man injured in Thailand plane crash

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

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A British pilot has died and a man from Dorset has been injured following a microlight accident in Thailand.

Tom Grieve, 57, and a passenger were said to be scattering the ashes of a friend above Pattaya Bay when the aircraft lost power and crashed into the Gulf of Thailand at 70mph.

The machine is said to have clipped an object as he tried to make an emergency landing on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Grieve, thought to be from Lanarkshire originally, died in hospital from apparent chest injuries shortly after being rescued from the sea.

Patrick Esser, 31, of Lyme Regis, Dorset, reportedly suffered a broken arm and was treated at Pattaya Memorial Hospital, east of Bangkok.

Speaking to the Daily Mail from his hospital bed, Mr Esser said: “My friend Stuart Long had died of throat cancer aged just 41 and we were about to scatter his ashes in the sea. I had done a rehearsal flight the previous day with Tom and everything went fine.”

Mr Grieve was aiming for a large piece of concrete on which to land but the machine clipped something on the way, crashing into the water upside down.

Mr Esser continued: “I managed to get out and started looking for Tom, then I saw him surface.

“He seemed okay but was in some pain. We were taken straight to hospital and I asked him on the way if he was okay. He did not reply, but he looked okay.”

Mr Grieve – a well-known former member of Connel Flying Club in Oban, who lived in Pattaya, Thailand, and who was separated from his wife – is said to have received awards for his airmanship.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm the death of a British national, Thomas Grieve, and the hospitalisation of a British national following a microlight aircraft accident in Pattaya, Thailand.

“We are providing consular assistance to Mr Grieve’s family at this difficult time.”

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