HERO pilot ‘deserves a medal’ says family who pulled the wingwalkers to safety.

The family were on their way back from the Bournemouth Air Festival when they witnessed the plane from the AeroSuperBatics wingwalking display team, based near Cirencester, crash metres from the Sandbanks chain ferry.

Libby Chambers and her partner were on their dinghy with their three children when they witnessed the bi-plane ‘flip head-over-heels’ leaving the female wingwalker ‘petrified and screaming’.

Libby said: “We had just been out to the air show and seen the Red Arrows display before heading in on our dinghy because my partner’s daughter was quite seasick.

“The bi-plane literally just crash landed before the chain ferry, it was so low and you could hear the engine cutting out.

“The nose went in and then the tail flipped over, it just went completely head-over-heels. The pilot was straight out and I remember he pulled the wingwalker out and she was in quite a state really - she was petrified and couldn’t stop screaming.”

First to their aid, Libby and her family didn’t think twice before going to the rescue and pulling both people aboard their small 3-m vessel.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Libby Chambers and Alan Badenhorst

She said: “My partner Alan and I were the smallest boat around so we could get close enough to the plane and the kids helped us to pull the wingwalker and pilot onto our boat."

Libby said the female wingwalker was in an extremely distressed state while on the small boat.

“The pilot was incredible, he deserves a medal - I have no idea how he missed the rocks, the marker and the boats - he was just out of this world," said Libby.

“I know that’s what they’re trained for but it was quite something, when he was onboard he just kept shaking his head and saying he ‘couldn’t believe it’ had happened.”