Gran, who was killed in Derriford hospital, was “blown off her feet” by the helicopter landing.

Jean Langan was walking with her niece in a car park at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth when she was blown over and later died when a Coastguard plane landed on the helipad with one injured

The tragedy happened at Derriford Hospital on Friday while the grandma was on her way to an appointment
The tragedy happened at Derriford Hospital on Friday while the grandma was on her way to an appointment

A “loving” grandmother was killed when she was “snatched from her feet” by a landing helicopter in a hospital parking lot.

Jean Langan’s family want to hold those responsible accountable after the 87-year-old failed to be rescued after falling at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon yesterday.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed the helicopter flew in a patient on Friday afternoon. PlymouthLive reports.

And Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed this afternoon that an 87-year-old woman who was on a footprint was blown off her feet by the helicopter’s “trigger”.

Gael, the pensioner’s niece, was taking her aunt to an appointment when the helicopter arrived and flew overhead as they entered the building.

Two were injured when a HM Coastguard helicopter landed on Derriford Hospital’s helipad.


Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)

The grandma flew backwards and hit the concrete, the family says. Her niece was in the hospital with her “before, during and after” the horror ordeal yesterday.

Gael told that Sun She was not injured herself, but had “only various ailments”.

Jean’s heartbroken family said today she will be “remembered fondly” and is leaving a “big hole” in her life.

Derriford Hospital after a woman died after an incident involving the coastguard helicopter landing


PlymouthLive/BPM MEDIA)

Gael Hill, with whom Jean lived for over a decade, said: “Despite her age, Jean was very physically active, she walked for miles, she liked to be busy.

“She was a loving mother of one son and four grandchildren whom she held dear.

“She had many nieces and nephews and was very generous.

“Jean lived with me and has for at least 10 years. She loved seeing my children and grandchildren when they were visiting, she took great pleasure in interacting with the little ones.

“She will leave a huge hole in our family and will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.”

Jean Langan was walking in a nearby parking lot when she was killed when a Coast Guard plane landed


jessica fletcher

Michael Hill, Jean’s great-nephew, added: “I’m just shocked. We want the hospital and the Coast Guard to be held accountable.”

In a statement, police confirmed that a woman who died on the grounds of a hospital after being knocked off her feet as a helicopter landed was an 87-year-old from the Plymouth area.

A spokesman said she suffered a serious head injury in the incident at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on Friday morning and later died, while a second woman in her 80s was being treated for a fractured pelvis.

A sign warns of the helicopter landing


PlymouthLive/BPM MEDIA)

Detective Inspector Andy Hodges of Devon and Cornwall Police said a HM Coastguard helicopter had landed at the hospital’s helipad with a victim from another incident and the force was now assisting with an inquiry led by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Branch.

Detective Inspector Andy Hodges said today: “It is currently believed that a HM Coastguard helicopter landed at Derriford Heliport at around 11.20am on Friday 4 March. The helicopter carried an injured man linked to another job early in the morning.

“As the helicopter landed on the helipad, a member of the public, an 87-year-old woman from the Plymouth area, who was on a nearby footpath, was blown down by the downdraft,” he said.

The scene after the tragedy


Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)

“She suffered a serious head injury and later died at Derriford Hospital. Her next of kin have been informed and a file is to be drawn up for the coroner.

“A second woman, also in her 80s, was in the parking lot when it was believed the car door had been slammed shut by the down train as she got out of her vehicle. She has fractured her pelvis and is in stable condition at the hospital.”

DI Hodges continued: “Our role now is to support the investigation which is now being led by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Branch.

“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with all those affected by the events in Derriford yesterday.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Our deepest condolences go out to those affected by the incident at Derriford Hospital.”

“It would be inappropriate to comment while the incident is being investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police and the Air Accident Investigation Branch.”

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said a HM Coastguard helicopter had flown a patient to Derriford Hospital and “on landing there was an incident which is now being investigated by police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch”.

They added: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by yesterday’s incident.”

The first landing of a Sea King helicopter at Derriford Hospital’s new helipad in 2015 (file image)


John Hicks)

The helipad was moved in 2015 after concerns about the ability of Devon and Cornwall air ambulances to land 24 hours a day on what was originally a flat and unlit patch of grass.

The project cost £1.75m, took around seven months to build and meant that not only could air ambulances land, but also the larger and heavier search and rescue helicopters used by the military and HM Coastguard.

Before the new landing pad was installed, helicopters had to land at nearby Marjon Airport or even Plymouth Airport, with patients then being taken to the hospital by land ambulance.

In 2015, it was reported that Derriford Hospital was taking about 400 patients per year as emergencies requiring air transfers.

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