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WWI Flying Ace Crash Lands In A Tree

WWI Flying Ace Crash Lands In A Tree

A WWI plane enthusiast nicknamed 'Biggles' by his pals has walked away unscathed after his replica biplane crashed into a tree.

Pawel Stanislowsky, 54, from Stara Wies, a village in southern Poland, had lovingly built the French WWI classic Nieuport 11 fighter plane for the centenary of the Great War which falls in August this year.

But when he took it up to give it a test flight, the engine stalled and began to lose height.

As he tried to land it in a field he struck the top of a tree and was left hanging with the tail of the plane stuck in the branches.

The pilot escaped unharmed and now has no choice but to sell the parts for scrap.

He said: "It is an ignominious end for a fine machine. I have been an amateur of the Great War for all my life, particularly the war in the air which was the only place amid the slaughter that elan and chivalry had a place.

"I was booked to go to air shows in France and the UK in the summer but that is all a dream now. Biggles is grounded!

"I don't know what the problem was but it was in the engine. Any heavier and the thing would have dropped like a stone, but because it is such a featherweight contraption I was able to float down into the trees.

"The damage is too great to repair."

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