Skier hit by plane on slopes of French Alps resort

Skier hit by plane on slopes of French Alps resort

A Polish skier has been seriously injured after being hit by a plane careering down the slopes of a French Alps resort.

The ski-equipped single-propeller Jodel plane had failed to take off from the high-altitude runway near the popular ski areas of Avoriaz.

According to, the plane had some kind of mechanical breakdown on take-off, and had to try to make an emergency landing.

The pilot could not stop the plane and it narrowly missed a group of children before passing under a chairlift and hitting the tourist, nearly severing her hand.

The 55-year-old woman suffered a "near amputation", according to emergency services.

According to the Guardian, local public prosecutor Patrick Steinmetz told AFP: "The plane suddenly appeared behind her and there was virtually no sound. She didn't hear it."

A firefighting source told EuroNews: "We came close to a disaster. The plane passed under the cable of a ski-lift, it avoided some fir trees then a group of children before arriving on a blue piste, popular with skiers including the victim."

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Steinmetz added: "The pilot was "a professional who is used to these kind of conditions on take-off."

The prosecutor's office is investigating the accident.

A host of media outlets posted pictures of the scene on Twitter.

Best value ski resorts 2014/15
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Skier hit by plane on slopes of French Alps resort

Post Office Travel has revealed that Bulgarian ski resort Bansko is still the cheapest around, ideal for families looking to cut the cost of their ski break this winter. Its Ski Resort Report shows that prices for ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, meals and drinks are £872 for a family of four - four per cent less than last year and £38 cheaper than runner-up ski resort Kranjska Gora in Slovenia. Low-cost airlines easyJet and Wizzair fly to Sofia from the UK and there is plenty of affordable accommodation available. has a selection of chalets and apartments in Bansko, including luxury apartments with full hotel facilities from just £99 per person per week.

With great weather and snow conditions, Kranjska Gora is a top resort for a ski holiday and offers a fantastic base to explore the Julian Alps. On top of that, it's cheap! Post Office has revealed the Slovenian resort offers the best value in the eurozone and is closing the gap on Bansko, due mainly to low ski school prices (£72 for 5-6 half days). Ski resort costs are an average of £299 per person, making it the cheapest place in Europe for skiers needing tuition. Balkan Holidays offers seven-night half-board ski holidays in Kranjska Gora with return flights and four-star accommodation from £514 per person.

Of the Big Four (Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy), family-friendly Ellmau in Austria offers the best value skiing for a family of four, with an average price of £984. Located in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol, the attractive village combines fantastic skiing options, beautiful scenery and excellent value. Prices start from as little as €5 (£4) for a hearty Gulasch Soup and you can expect to pay about €3 (£2.40) for a half litre of beer. The SkiWelt links eight resorts and boasts 280km of pistes – the largest linked ski area in Austria – all available to explore on one lift pass, from £124 per person or £373 for a family of four for six days. Inghams offers seven nights' half-board accommodation at Alte Post from £589 per person, including return flights from Gatwick to Salzburg and resort transfers.

With its tax-free status, Italy's Livigno is a superb option for snow sports tourists in search of excellent value. The friendly ski resort is nestled between two easily accessible mountain faces with a charming town. Ski resort costs for the 2014/15 ski season are just £321 per person. Or even cheaper with the free ski pass being offered to visitors when they book four or more nights in selected apartments and hotels between 29 November and 19 December 2014 or from 11 April to 3 May 2015. As over 80 per cent of Livigno's slopes can confirm coverage from their snow-making system, it's also a risk-free option for early and late season visits, meaning you can also save on flights by avoiding peak travel dates.

Cheap flights from London Stansted to Carcassonne with Ryanair put Soldeu on the budget skier's map. Post Office has revealed that the most dramatic fall in resort prices this year is in Andorra, which has seen a 23 per cent drop from last year with resort costs for one person at £331. What's more, Andorra is well-known for its duty-free status which helps when it comes to après-ski fun. There's no shortage of bars, restaurants and hotels, and drinks are served by the amount you want, not in uniform measures. The village of El Tarter is home to one of Europe's most respected ski schools so if you're serious about skiing and want to be taught by the best instructors without the price tag, Soldeu is the resort for you. A week at the Bellavista Apartments costs from £340 per person with Neilson, including return flights, resort transfers and self-catering accommodation (based on 4 January 2015 departure).

Finland’s top ski resort Ruka is surrounded by stunning wilderness and offers a variety of trails, adventure slopes and quieter slopes ideal for alpine skiers. The gentle slopes are popular for beginners and families, with Ruka’s ski school offering private tuition and English speaking instructors. Ski passes are considerably cheaper than in the French or Swiss Alps: a six-day ski pass costs from £435 for a family of four, while in Saas Fee you're looking at £715. Packages are incredibly cheap too. A seven night-stay with Crystal Ski at Ruka Suites in Finland costs from £159 per person including return flights and self-catering accommodation (price based on family of four).

Italian resort Sestriere has been named the biggest bargain among 10 world-class resorts, including Vail, St Anton, Val d'Isere and Whistler by Post Office Travel. Ski and living costs in Sestriere (£353 per person) are virtually half those in Zermatt (£686), making it a grand choice for families too at £1,321 for four people. The 2006 host of the Winter Olympics is renowned for great snow conditions, its quiet village scene and spectacular mountain views. Crystal Ski offers seven-night holidays in Sestriere from £175 per person (based on four sharing), departing 18 January from Gatwick and including self-catering accommodation at the Olympic Village Apartments.

France might not be the first place to look for a cheap ski holiday but the resort of Morzine is offering great value this winter season with the strong pound against the euro making resort costs eight per cent cheaper than last year and just £365 per person or £1,304 for a family of four. The well-established resort boasts village charm and is a wonderful choice for families. This winter sees the opening of Rude Chalets' The Rude Lodge, a hostel-style lodge in a funky young style with en-suite rooms from £28 per person per night.

Bargain hunters heading across the pond on a transatlantic ski holiday will find Eastern Canada’s Tremblant one of the cheapest resorts in North America. Tremblant has seen a nine per cent price fall in resort costs since last year – mostly the result of a weaker Canadian dollar. A ski pass for six days, ski/boot hire, ski school, coffee, wine, beer and lunch on the slopes costs an average of £565 per person, compared to £750 spent in American resort Vail. Virgin Holidays offers seven nights in Tremblant from £819 per person including flights from Heathrow to Montreal, B&B accommodation at Le Kandahar and car hire (based on 18 March 2015 departure).

Pretty resort Selva Val Gardena lies at the heart of the world's largest ski area, the Dolomiti Superski, which is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts no fewer than 460 lifts and 1220km of piste, offering endless opportunities all on one area lift pass. As one of the cheapest places to ski in Italy, Selva Val Gardena's resort costs are just £408 per person, according to Post Office. Thomson Ski offers a seven-night half-board stay at Hotel Pineta from £515 per person, based on a 21 March 2015 departure from Gatwick. Thomson is also offering free lift passes for children under seven this season.


Winter breaks without skiing
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Skier hit by plane on slopes of French Alps resort

Winter time in Bled is truly magical. The snow-covered castle and island of Slovenia's famous lake look simply stunning in their fine Alpine setting, with miles of paths, covered with snow all around the frozen lake so you can go on romantic winter walks. Popular with skiers and non-skiers alike, Bled is a winter paradise with a wealth of activities including winter hiking, dog-sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating. Stay at the Grand Hotel Toplice.

If you love camping and the great outdoors, you'll want to experience the Aurora Safari Camp in Lulea, Swedish Lapland. The tents at the camp use the traditional Nordic tipi design from the indigenous Sami people but with 21st century materials and construction techniques. They're snug and comfortable with plenty of room to move around and wood fire heaters, as well as a special lounge tent to dine and relax in a group with a full bar. While at the camp, you can go dog sledding, elk spotting, canoeing and snowshoeing. Aurora Nights offers a three-night weekend trip with return flights from Gatwick, Heathrow or Manchester, one night at the Aurora Safari Camp and two nights at the cosy Sorbyn Lodge, gourmet meals and dogsledding from £1,295 per person.

See a completely different side of Tuscany to the rolling countryside in the summer, museums and piazze on a winter walking break in the Garfagnana Valley. The Tuscan hidden gem is ideal for snowshoeing and getting up close to the amazing mountain scenery. Nestled between the 'marble mountains' of the Alpi Apuane and the rolling Apennines, the valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Explore offers a Tuscan Winter Walks and Snowshoeing holiday in Italy. Depending on the level of the snowline (usually from 800 to 1200 metres above sea level) you can expect three or four of the walks to involve the use of snow shoes - suitable for beginners with equipment and instruction provided. The holiday departs in February 2015 for eight days starting from £899 per person including return flights, seven nights in agroturismo accommodation with breakfast, eight other meals, transport and the service of a trek guide.

For a night in the Alps to remember, sleep at the magical Igloo Village in the heart of La Plagne at an altitude of over 2,100m. Sip mulled wine around the camp fire, tuck into a fondue feast with cured meats, cosy up with a loved one under Arctic-weight duvets in a two-person igloo, or share a larger igloo with friends and family. Over a dawn breakfast, you can savour the silence and watch the sun rise over Mont Blanc. Book a stay via the La Plagne Tourist Office from £85 per person for dinner and bed and breakfast.

For a cosy winter break with a twist in Sweden, visit the island of Hinderson which is surrounded by the frozen sea. Travel by snowmobile across the ice from the port city of Lulea on the Gulf of Bothnia to Jopikgarden hotel, a romantic retreat on the small island. Explore some of the region's 700 islands before returning to Lulea to try a number of unforgettable excursions, including an exhilarating hovercraft ice tour or a trip to see the magic of the Northern Lights. WEXAS Travel offers a four-day holiday from £750 per person, including return flights from London, two nights in Lulea, one night at Jopikgarden and return snowmobile transfers from Lulea to Jopikgarden.

During the winter months, the far northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is covered in powder snow, transforming the country's second largest island into a real winter wonderland. The Sapporo Snow Festival takes place in February (5-11 February 2015) with huge snow sculptures overtaking the city, along with snow parks, plenty of food and local beer. The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival is another celebration of snow and is magnificent to see the city decorated with lights. Check out the local wildlife by boarding an Icebreaker ship off of the Shiretoko Peninsula and floating through the drift ice that attracts hundreds of huge Stellar Sea Eagles in the Sea of Okhotsk. And don't miss witnessing the Japanese Macaque bathe in the hot springs deep in the mountains of Nagano. InsideJapan's tailored Winter Highlights trip takes in the best of the season on a 14-night tour from £3,000.

Far inside the Arctic Circle in the heart of the northern Norwegian Fjords and Lyngen Alps, the boutique Lyngen Lodge offers a touch of luxury and a true snowy escape. Accessible by two ferry journeys, you don’t have to go too far to see the Northern Lights as the chances are they are in the sky directly above your head! While staying in the Lyngen Fjord, there is a plethora of activities to keep you busy, from snowshoeing, dog sledding and cross-country skiing to ice fishing and a sea safari. Back at the eight-room lodge, there’s an open fire, sauna and outdoor hot tub, perfect for relaxing in as the Northern Lights provide the evening entertainment. Simply Northern Lights offers a three-night stay at Lyngen Lodge from £1,425 per person, based on two sharing, with flights from London to Tromso (via Oslo) and transfers included.

For a snowy holiday with a difference, head to northern Spain where the Picos de Europa Mountains rise up to above 2500m and the peaks have snow almost year-round but guaranteed in the winter months. The National Park has no ski resorts so you don't have to share it with the crowds and there are spectacular views to enjoy on winter walks. Casas Cantabricas offers stays at El Hoyal from £75 per room, per night.

You don't have to travel too far for a snowy escape as some of Britain's most beautiful corners enjoy plenty of snow throughout winter. Escape to the Lake District where you can stay in a luxurious Scandinavian lodge on a serene country break in one of the region's most stunning valleys. CoolStays offers stays at Langdale Estate lodges from £98 per night. The lodges are perfectly located for a romantic break or adventure getaway, with trails through magical woodland glades and walks to take in the local scenery. Once you return to your lodge, you can relax in the steam room or indulge in a massage at the spa.

For a rail journey to remember, look no further than Switzerland for its spectacular snowy scenes and epic landscapes during winter. Enjoy the majestic winter scenery from the comfort of a carriage on Ffestiniog Travel's 10-day Swiss trip that’s just the ticket for rail enthusiasts. As well as ample opportunity to explore independently by train, post bus, lake steamer, city bus and tram, there’s a full-day excursion from Chur to Tirano in Northern Italy on the Bernina Express, and the UNESCO Rhaetian Railways network to enjoy. Departing 11 February, Snow on the Alps costs £1,660 per person and includes standard-class rail travel to and from Switzerland, a first-class Swiss Pass, transfers, bed and breakfast and the services of a tour leader throughout.

Experience the mystical beauty of Lapland on an authentic adventure in northern Sweden. The remote, close-knit community of Kangos is located 150km north of the Arctic Circle and is surrounded by picturesque pine forests and situated close to the Lainio River. On a seven-night break with Inntravel, you'll stay at the Kangos Guesthouse, learn the basics of 'mushing' and drive your own team of dogs over frozen lakes, through deep forests and across the endlessly fascinating landscape. Other activities on the trip include a journey by snowmobile, the chance to meet reindeer and ice fishing.


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