HARDWICK CRASH: Injured pilot from Eye hailed as ‘most generous family man’

Maurice Hammond, of Eye, is known as a presenter on the TV show, Plane Resurrection.
Maurice Hammond, of Eye, is known as a presenter on the TV show, Plane Resurrection.
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The pilot of an aircraft that crashed in Hardwick yesterday, injuring him and leading to the death of a passenger, has been hailed as a “really big family man”.

Maurice Hammond, 58, from Eye, remains in a serious yet stable condition at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), after his P-51D Mustang crashed into a field near the former RAF Hardwick base.

The WW2 P-51D Mustang fighter plane close to the former RAF Hardwick base in Topcroft, Norfolk on Sunday 02/10/16. ANL-160310-101507001

The WW2 P-51D Mustang fighter plane close to the former RAF Hardwick base in Topcroft, Norfolk on Sunday 02/10/16. ANL-160310-101507001

Emergency services were called out at 3.38pm and were able to rescue Mr Hammond, who is the managing director at Eye Tech Engineering.

However, his passenger, thought to have been in his 80s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nik Coleman, from Long Stratton, a friend of Mr Hammond, said: “I have known him for 12 or so years. I rate him as a good friend.

“He is hard working and enthusiastic. He is fantastically knowledgeable about the aircraft because he built it, and he is a really big family man.

Nik Coleman, of Long Stratton. ANL-160310-125509001

Nik Coleman, of Long Stratton. ANL-160310-125509001

“He is possibly the most generous person I have ever met. He is a good businessman, a brilliant engineer and a big family guy.”

Mr Coleman added that Mr Hammond’s family were alongside him at hospital, and they were all “shocked” by what had happened.

Mr Hammond is well known as a presenter on Plane Resurrection, a television show available on the Curiosity Stream service.

He is also a strong supporter of the Eye Airfield memorial project, and is heavily involved in the Hangar Dance charity scheme, which has raised more than £100,000 over the years for support services at NNUH.

The Mustang, a vintage model from the Second World War, is thought to have been valued between £1 million and £1.5 million.