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West man hurt in fatal Thai plane crash

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

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

Tom Grieve, 57, and Patrick Esser, 31, 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, originally thought to be from Lanarkshire , died in hospital from apparent chest injuries shortly after being rescued from the sea.

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

The pair are said to have been making a tribute to close friend Stuart Long who died of throat cancer aged 41, and they were about to scatter his ashes in the sea when the engine cut out at around 2,000ft.

Mr Grieve was aiming for a large piece of concrete to land on but the machine clipped something on the way, eventually crashing into the water upside down. Mr Grieve – a former member of Connel Flying Club in Oban, who lived in Pattaya, is said to have received awards for his airmanship.

Confirming the death of Mr Grieve in the crash, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said every assistance was being provided.

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