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Crowdfunding Effort Underway For U.K. Pilot Injured In Japan

Suffered A Broken Back When He Made An Off-Airport Landing

A crowdfunding effort is underway to help defray the medical expenses for Colin Hales, who was injured in an off-airport landing in Japan during his attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a KR2 airplane.

The airplane, which he has dubbed "Itzy", suffered an engine failure during the flight, and he was forced to land on a golf course. He walked away from the accident, but later learned he had broken his back in three places when the airplane impacted terrain.

Initially, he refused treatment, but it quickly became apparent that he was badly injured, and needed treatment. He was airlifted from the golf course to a hospital, where he is not able to move from his bed because of the risk of spinal nerve damage.

Hales' medical bills are mounting, and he is operating on a shoestring to make the flight. His family and friends are making sure he has the necessary surgery, but it is expected to cost about $30,000.

Hales' supporters have established a fundraising effort on the website JustGiving, and are hoping to raise £20,000 (approx. $26,000 U.S.) to go towards paying the bills. So far, about $17,500 has been raised.

The person who started the effort, Zanna McKail, said Hales does not know about the effort. "I know he would not allow me to ask for help, but sometimes you have to do what you believe is the right thing," she wrote on the site.

(Image from file)

FMI: JustGiving

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