This is the heartbreaking final photo of a para-motor pilot seconds before he died in a crash. Andy Walkden had been flying his light aircraft,
This is the heartbreaking final photo of a para-motor pilot seconds before he died in a crash.
Andy Walkden had been flying his light aircraft, seemingly with no problems, well above the coast near Southport, silhouetted by a beautiful sunset.
A stranger took this photo of the pilot with 15 years experience, seen gliding peacefully across the evening sky at 6.59pm.
The last known photo of paramotor pilot Andy Walkden taken of him flying out over the sunset by the Southport coast. Seconds later 999 calls came in with reports the small aircraft coming crashing in a field near Royal Birkdale Golf Course
It is believed that just a minute later on April 11, 999 calls were being made about the aircraft crashing.
His daughter, Kayleigh Worthington, told the Echo that seeing her dad looking so at home in the sky was ‘a comfort’.
She said: ‘Someone came to me and sent me a picture of him at 6.59pm, the reports said at 7pm it was reported.
‘This picture may be seconds or minutes before it happened.
In an emotional post, Kayleigh Worthington shared memories of her father Mr Walkden, with the caption ‘Just a few pics I will treasure forever. I love you Dad’
‘It all looks perfectly fine, it’s nice to seem he’s going into the sunset, that’s quite comforting.’
Mr Walkden’s paramotor crashed into the ground close to Royal Birkdale Golf Course before bursting into flames.
Fire crews, paramedics and police officers were seen at the crash sight with witnesses reporting seeing smoke coming from the area.
The accident was initially reported as a microlight aircraft accident but was later confirmed to be a paramotor.
A photo posted by Kayleigh in memory of her father appears the show the paramotor pilot of 15-years doing his favourite activity over grassland
Mr Walkden has not been formally identified by police yet due to the severity of the injuries he sustained in the crash.
Earlier this week his daughter, Kayleigh and son Aaron took to social media to share the news that their dad was the pilot involved in the crash.
Kayleigh posted on Facebook: ‘I just want to confirm that the person who lost his life is my dad Andy Walkden. I still feel like I’m in a dream and this isn’t happening.
‘He still hasn’t been fully identified because of the severity of the incident but we know it is him.
‘I just wanted to thank everyone for their messages, I’m sorry I haven’t replied to you all personally, I just haven’t had it in me until now.
Andy Walkden, 54, died from his injuries in the crash last week
‘He was only 54 years old which is what I am struggling to come to terms with, he was such a skilled pilot and instructor and taught many people to fly over the years.
‘He knew my thoughts on him doing this, and how I felt when he recently got the passion back and started up again, but it’s what he loved, which is what I’m trying to focus on to get me through this horrendous time in my life.’
Aaron also posted a short message confirming the heartbreaking news and thanking people for their support.
He wrote: ‘I just wanted to thank everyone for your messages and I will let you all no when and were the funeral will be taking place.’
A paramotor is a motorised, steerable parachute that is powered by a motor and a propeller that is strapped to the pilot’s back.
Unlike a micro-light aircraft, a paramotor does not require a licence or any formal pilot training.
The paramotor aircraft or its pilot also do not need insurance or to be registered.
After the initial report that stated that the aircraft was a micro-light, all micro-light pilots in the area were accounted for.