The British Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association is conducting an inquiry into what went wrong after a 72-year-old ‘delightful’ paraglider plunged to his death.

Pensioner Simon Chippindale suddenly crashed to the ground after becoming airborne at White Sheet Hill, near Mere.

Mr Chippindale, from Bath, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been paragliding for more than 20 years.

Bertie Grotrian, who had flown with him on many occasions, said: “He was a delightful chap and very fit.”

Mr Chippindale was a member of the Avon Hang Gliding and Para gliding Club whose members have been left shocked by the tragedy.

Chair Peggy Williams said: “It is very sad. This is a very rare incident.”

An inquest in Salisbury was told Mr Chippindale was confirmed dead by a doctor from the air ambulance at 11.45am on July 29.  Cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries.

He was identified by his son, Joel.

The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

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