Wilts - saved co-pilot from wreckage

PC Matt Bennett

PC Matt Bennett

A Wiltshire police officer who risked his life to assist a co-pilot trapped in the wreckage of a plane has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

On the morning of 8 July 2016, the emergency services were alerted by air traffic control that a light aircraft had crash landed, although its exact location and the welfare of the crew were unknown.

PC Matt Bennett, along with a fire officer, ran some considerable distance through crop fields to access the crash site. Despite the strong smell of aviation fuel and the obvious risk of fire, the two officers began to treat the two airmen. Sadly the pilot, who was found close to the wreckage, did not respond to CPR and died. The co-pilot had suffered severe injuries and was trapped in the aircraft, but was conscious and talking.

Prior to the Fire Service starting the process of cutting him free PC Bennett had the presence of mind to take detailed photographs to assist with the crash investigation. This action was highly praised by senior aircraft investigators when they arrived at the scene.

Wiltshire Police Federation Chairman, David Ibbott commented: "Wiltshire Police officers face dangers in all sorts of environments and situations everyday, whether it is on the motorway, dealing with violent offenders or attending plane crashes such as this.  PC Matt Bennett's actions during this incident are an example to us all of true professionalism and bravery at its best."

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