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TEENAGER IN HANG-GLIDER CRASH DEATH; Brother leads online tributes.

Byline: LIAM MURPHY

TRIBUTES were today paid to a 16-year-old who died in a hang-glider crash.

Teenager Lois Preston, of Warrington, was taking part in a training flight at an airfield in Derbyshire when the tragic incident happened.

Before the crash Lois had used Twitter to tell friends she was "in a great mood" and things "couldn't be better".

The incident, in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was today being investigated by Derbyshire police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

Student Lois was airlifted to hospital 20 miles away but lost her fight for life shortly after she arrived.

Friends of Lois, who passed a hang-gliding qualification earlier this year, described their grief on a Facebook page set up in her memory.

One said: "It came as such a shock to all of us. RIP Lois, you will always be with us watching over us. We all miss you so much."

Earlier this year, three-times world champion Judy Leden, who runs hang-gliding lessons, said: "Lois is showing signs of becoming a talented pilot. This girl is one to watch!" Lois's dad Mark and brother Sam were also learning to hang-glide at the centre in Derbyshire.

Sam later wrote on Lois's Facebook page: "I miss you so much. I hope you know although I didn't say it much that I love you and I am extremely proud of you and all your accomplishments.

"You are the best sister a brother could ask for."

An AAIB spokesman said two investigators were working at the scene shortly after the crash on Friday and these investigations continued over the weekend.

She added: "The glider will be taken to AAIB headquarters in Far nborough."

A police spokesman said: "At approximately 1.45pm on Friday, a hang-glider crashed to the ground during a training flight at Darley Moor, Ashbourne.

"Unfortunately the 16-year-old pilot died from her injuries shortly afterwards at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

"Police are working with air accident investigators to determine the cause of this tragedy."

The crash happened at an airfield operated by Airways Airsports.

A member of staff for the company said: "Nobody here is commenting on the incident because it is still under investigation by the police."

According to reports, a police source said it was unclear what happened "but she seems to have got into some difficulty and fallen from about 50ft".

CAPTION(S):

TALENTED: Lois Preston was praised by a former world champion glider TRAGIC: Lois Preston
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2011
Words:407
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