Tue, Jun 01, 2004
Struck Dead By Lightning
A British model plane enthusiast is dead after he was struck by
lightning Sunday at the British national competition at RAF
Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire.
ITV reports Peter Harris, 63, of Kidderminster in the West
Midlands, had been involved in British Model Flying Association
competitions for years. He was struck down by lightning as he
bicycled across the airfield to pick up his model glider during a
fierce thunderstorm at the British Free Flight National
"He's been doing this as long as I have," said tournament
organizer Mike Woodhouse. "I've known him forty years and he was
due actually in a couple of months time to fly in the European
championships representing his country in Romania. Now he won't be
able to do that job."
The three-day tournament continued Monday in spite of the
tragedy, with a memorial in honor of Harris.
everybody else and unfortunately it happens," said Woodhouse. "You
see golfers being struck by lightning, but not people who fly toy
airplanes. It doesn't happen to us."
The BMFA issued this statement through its website Monday:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of a tragic accident
which occurred at the Free Flight Nationals on Sunday 30th May.
Peter Harris from Kidderminster who was a very well known and
respected member of the Free Flight community was cycling across
the airfield during a very sudden and violent thunderstorm when he
was struck by lightning. First aid was administered at the scene
and an ambulance crew arrived within minutes to take Peter to
hospital in Grantham. Sadly, Peter died of his injuries.
All flying activities were suspended for the remainder of the
day. The competition resumed on Monday 31st May (it is thought that
this is what Peter would have wanted) following a service on the
airfield lead by Rev (Sqn Ldr)Stephen J Radley from RAF
I am sure that the thoughts of every BMFA member will be with
the family and friends of Peter at this very sad time.
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