Pilot And Passenger Rescued After Flying Plane Into Ski Lift
A pilot and his passenger had an unbelievably lucky escape when their plane crashed into a ski lift and they were left completely uninjured.
The 62-year-old pilot was able to get out of the plane, but his 55-year-old passenger had to be rescued after they were left trapped in the cockpit.
Footage shows the light aircraft tangled in the ski lift wires, dangling precariously upside down.
The video, taken by rescue teams, shows the pilot sitting on the wing as a rescue carefully edges along the cable to reach them.
The incident occurred at Prato Valentino ski resort at Teglio, north of Milan, in the Italian alps, on Sunday afternoon.
As reported by Mirror Online, firefighters, police and mountain rescue teams teams took almost two hours to complete the complicated operation to save the pair from the upside down plane. Even 20 army personnel were drafted in to help with the mission.
According to officials, the plane was on a sightseeing flight, having taken off from a local airfield, but then apparently lost power before crashing into the cable.
A spokesperson for Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico, Italy's national cave and mountain rescue unit, commented that it was actually lucky that the pair had crashed into the ski lift.
Spokesperson 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.
"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."
Marco Confortola, the mountain guide who posted his video on social media, said: "The mountain rescue service worked perfectly. [The operation was conducted] with speed and professionalism."
The authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
Mr Milan added: "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."
Featured Image Credit: CNSAS