Skier seriously injured by light aircraft

A skier was seriously injured yesterday when she was hit by a light aircraft on the slopes of a resort in the French Alps.

The ski-equipped single-propeller Jodel plane had failed to take off from a high-altitude runway near the ski area at Avoriaz.

The pilot was unable to stop the aircraft, which slid down the slopes, narrowly missing a group of children and passing under a chairlift before clipping the Polish woman and nearly severing her hand, the AP news agency reported

The 55-year-old woman was hit by the aircraft’s propeller and suffered a “near amputation”, according to emergency services.

She was immediately attended by a resort doctor before being evacuated to a local hospital by helicopter.

Patrick Steinmetz, the local public prosecutor, said: “The plane suddenly appeared behind her and there was virtually no sound. She didn’t hear it.”

Accompanied by one passenger, the pilot made a stopover in Avoriaz, close to the border with Switzerland, and was about to depart when the accident occurred.

The pilot was “a professional who is used to these kind of conditions” on take-off, said Steinmetz. The prosecutor’s office was investigating the accident.

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