Hero pilot dies in crash after 'saving 12 skydivers'

Ruth Doherty
Hero pilot dies in crash after 'saving 12 skydivers'
Hero pilot dies in crash after 'saving 12 skydivers'


A pilot who died when his aircraft crashed into a residential backyard has been hailed a hero after all 12 skydivers on board escaped unharmed.

Brandon Sparrow, 30, was pilot of a plane that was taking part in a skydive event organised by the Mid-America Sport Parachute Club when he his problems with 12 skydivers on board.

It is believed his actions saved the lives of those on board, as well as minimising the chances of injuring anybody on the ground.

The twin-engine plane went down on Saturday morning into a backyard in Taylorville, Illinois. Neighbours said the plane came nose-diving towards the ground just after all 12 skydivers jumped out.

Former pilot John McClure told KSDK: "If he would have come in on a straight run, he probably would've wiped out three or four houses here and no telling what would've happened."

He said making the landing Mr Sparrow did was not an easy feat, adding: "It's pretty astonishing, it really is, all I have to say is that guy was a hero, plain, pure and simple."

According to the Daily Mail, the owner of the house, Jerry Dobyns Sr, said he was watching TV in bed at the time of the crash. His dog was with him inside at the time, as well as his daughter, who had been playing in the garden not long before the crash.

Mr Dobyns Sr reportedly told aviation officials the two engines were buried four feet underground.

Mayor Greg Brotherton said that while they could not be sure if Brendan had deliberately saved the skydivers and people on the ground, there certainly could have been more fatalities, telling KSDK: "Whether it was the hand of God or directed by this pilot we are just very lucky that more houses weren't hit and more people weren't hurt."

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