Witness hails selfless flying instructor

Steven Lewis
Steven Lewis
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A WITNESS has praised a pilot for flying a misfiring aircraft away from homes and schools.

Flying instructor Steven Lewis, 38, of Rainhill, was killed in a chopper crash near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, on September 22, 2009, alongside his pupil, father-of-one Philip Gray, 45. But witness John Howard-Pritchard told an inquest into their deaths he heard a high-pitched noise coming from the helicopter’s engine when it flew over his house.

He said: “I could tell it was in trouble from the way it was behaving. I truly believe that the two pilots avoided any chance of putting it down in school playing fields. They did in fact turn it towards the River Wyre - thus avoiding greater tragedy.” Proceeding were adjourned untill April.