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Pilot brings plane down in back garden in central England

UPI News Service, 06/07/2013 

A 76-year-old pilot used a parachute to bring his small plane to a gentle landing in a back garden in the town of Cheltenham in central England.

The pilot, who did not want his name to appear publicly, walked away from the emergency landing with a few bruises, The Daily Telegraph reported. Witnesses said he called "I'm OK" as he left the four-seater Cirrus SR22.

No one was hurt on the ground, although one construction worker had to jump out of the way. The pilot was 2 miles short of his destination, Gloucestershire Airport, when his engine failed.

Witnesses described a loud noise, the sound of the parachute deploying.

"I was sitting on my computer and I heard an engine spluttering -- I had no idea what it could be," Fred Greeff, a bus driver, told the Telegraph. "I heard this almighty bang, and I ran straight to the window and saw this huge plane heading straight for my garden. It was incredible; I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was too shocked to move."

Desmond Creswell, 87, a former radio operator with the Royal Air Force who lives in the neighborhood, called the pilot a hero for bringing the plane down in a spot where he avoided hitting people or buildings.

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