Emergency services at Cotswold Airport nominated for Pride of Britain award in light of their response to crash at the airport last year
A TEAM of firefighters at Cotswold Airport who courageously risked life and limb to save the pilot of a plane that crashed and burst into flames have been nominated for a prestigious Pride of Britain award.
Renowned display pilot Tony de Bruyn was practicing a loop-the-loop at the airport in July 2012 when his World War II OV-10B Bronco aircraft spiralled out of control.
The plane impacted into the ground before immediately bursting into flames and skidding over 1,000f across the runway.
The pilot, who miraculously survived the crash, was stuck in the cockpit and unable to escape the burning wreckage.
However, his life was saved by 39-year-old Paul Coomber, senior airfield fire officer and firefighters Paul Harris, 56, and Nick Howard, 48.
The three men managed to pull the Belgian pilot from the blazing plane and carry him across the tarmac to a safe distance before giving him the vital first aid.
Jay Head, assistant airport manager at Cotswold Airport, said: “We’re obviously very proud to be nominated. It’s something that the guys do in their daily duties – it’s what they train for.
“We’re just very grateful and hopefully if something like this ever happened again, we’d be more than ready to handle it.”
The team at Cotswold Airport, along with the other finalists, were selected from thousands of other nominations.
They featured on ITV's Daybreak this morning to discuss the nomination.
The winner will be picked at a ceremony taking place in London on Friday.
A televised version of the awards will be broadcast next Tuesday on ITV at 8pm.
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