Cloudy Weather Report Ramallah, Palestine +4°C, Cloudy
Home | UK |

British pilot and wife die after plane crashes in mountain near French Riviera

  • Tragedy happened in area notorious for air crashes

By Steve Farrell

Last updated at 11:14 PM on 18th June 2011

A record-breaking British stunt driver and her husband have been killed after their plane crashed in the South of France.

Jacqueline Balmer, 53, was in a light aircraft flown by her husband James, 68, when it crashed into a mountain near Monaco on Friday.

Mother-of-two Mrs Balmer, who performed under the name Jacquie de Creed, once held the record for the longest car jump from a ramp, leaping 232ft in a Ford Mustang in 1983.

Tragedy: Jacqueline Balmer, 53, and husband James, 68, who were killed when their light plane crashed into a mountainside on the French Riviera

Tragedy: Jacqueline Balmer, 53, and husband James, 68, who were killed when their light plane crashed into a mountainside on the French Riviera

Stunt driver: Jacqueline Balmer - who went by the stage name Jacquie de Creed appeared in Heinz and Bovril adverts

Stunt driver: Jacqueline Balmer - who went by the stage name Jacquie de Creed appeared in Heinz and Bovril adverts

She also held distance records for driving a car on two wheels and was renowned for smashing vehicles through caravans and leaping over blazing buses.

She and former BBC stunt director Mr Balmer took off from Lucia, Italy, and were flying to Troyes, south of Paris, when radar contact was lost in south-east France.

Wreckage of the twin-engine Piper PA-39 and the bodies of the couple from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, were found four hours later by searchers on Mont Agel.

Dare devil : Mrs Balmer in a stunt with her daughters Lucy, now 21, and Charlotte, now 24

Dare devil : Mrs Balmer in a stunt with her daughters Lucy, now 21, and Charlotte, now 24

A witness who spotted the plane flying at 'very low altitude' had alerted the emergency services. The cause of the crash remained unknown last night.

Local reports suggested that fog, which blanketed the region yesterday morning, may have forced the aircraft to travel at a low level before it crash-landed on private property at an altitude 814 metres.

The area around Mont Agel is notorious among pilots for its mountainous countryside and low-lying clouds.

A spokesman for the Nice-Montagne prefecture said the couple's nationality was established through information stored on their mobile phones.

He added: 'At present we do not know what caused the accident. Investigations are ongoing.'

Notorious: Mont Agel towers over the playground of the rich Monte Carlo

Notorious: Mont Agel towers over the playground of the rich Monte Carlo

Tragedy: The light aircraft crashed near Mont Agnel

Tragedy: The light aircraft crashed near Mont Agnel

Last night their daughter Charlotte, 22, was flying to Britain from Barcelona, where she is studying architecture, to mourn with her sister Lucy, 19, a student at Bangor University.

The Balmers met while filming the Seventies stunt series Disaster Squad for the BBC.

Mrs Balmer was hurt several times and was nearly killed when her car burst into flames on one TV show.

Her stunt partner Dick Sheppard, 52, said: 'Jacquie was completely instinctive and had nerves of steel.'

After retiring from stunt work, Mrs Balmer had done some acting and was writing her autobiography, titled Close To The Edge.

Mr Balmer is understood to have run R Scott & Co menswear shop in Cirencester.

A twin-engined Piper PA-39 like the light plane piloted by James Balmer

A twin-engined Piper PA-39 like the light plane piloted by James Balmer

Lynn Hilditch, 63, who lives near the large detached house the couple owned in Cirencester, described them as friendly people who were well known in the local area.

Mrs Balmer gave talks to members of the community about her work as a stuntwoman, while Mr Balmer's shop was a long-running family business that was something of a local institution, she said.

'It's going to be a real shock to the shop people because it's a very old-fashioned shop that's been run so beautifully for years,' she said. 'He was a lovely guy. I think people spoke very highly of him.'

Tags

No tags for this article

Related Articles

A cloistered nun has stunned her mother superior and sisters after giving birth to a baby boy

A nun complaining of stomach pains has given birth to a baby boy in Italy The woman, from South America, was taken to hospital by fellow

Pregnant woman being harrased

Kerry Belton was on her way to collect her younger sister from school She entered Felixstowe Police Station to ask to use the toilets in a

Wettest June on Record Met Office Figures Show

Last month was the UK's wettest June since records began in 1910, provisional Met Office figures show.   It comes after this year also saw the rainiest

Most Watched Videos

View all posts

Nigerian Fried Rice: How To

Notes:- Chicken is the best meat for preparing Nigerian Fried Rice. Cut yours into desired pieces.- If your vegetables are too tough, you may want

Did Lionel Messi refuse to accept Copa America best player award as video emerges of official removing trophy?

Lionel Messi has been accused of refusing to accept 'best player' award A video has emerged of an official removing the trophy from stage Messi scored just

Shocking video footage shows moment two aircraft collide in mid-air during Italian airshow leaving one pilot dead as horrified beachgoers watch on

Amateur video shows the horrifying moment two planes collide in mid-airThe aircraft were performing a routine above the skies of Alba AdriaticaBeachgoers watched as they crashed

The story behind the shocking video of a Texas cop slamming a black girl at a pool party

Police brutality against African Americans is once again in the news following a viral video that showed a white police officer in McKinney, Texas, manhandling

Syrian terror group turns tables on ISIS fighters with execution video

Propaganda video shows Jaysh Al-Islam fighters executing ISIS militantsJaysh commander calls ISIS the 'most serious calamity for our jihad today'Group calls itself the Army of

I Felt disappointed when P-square decline my featuring in "Do Me" Video - Waje Reveals

Talented songstress Aituaje Iruobe popularly known as Waje, a lady behind the popular chorus of P-square has felt a deprive dissatisfaction as she didn’t get

Most Read News

View all posts

SHOCKING REVELATION: Most Boko Haram Members are Christians

Shocking revelation emerged that most members of the Boko Haram insurgents are Christians.The insurgents have attacked many churches in the country, killing several worshipers.According to

So Sad 3 year old boy falls into well while playing with his friends

Tragedy struck when a 3-year-old boy, Emmanuel Samuel, died on Sunday after he fell inside a well in front of a building on Hassan Sule

Bayelsa not beneficiary of bailout fund – DICKSON

By Samuel Oyadongha Yenagoa—Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, has said that the state did not benefit from the Federal Government bailout for states. Dickson in Yenagoa,

Wake up, President Buhari. Get in the game - Etcetera

Etcetera's message to President Buhari below...Wake up, President Buhari. Get in the game; you have left the door open for more Federal Government bailout. The

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde: I Have No Friend In Nollywood

Though she is quite popular among her colleagues, star actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has no friend in Nollywood. The actress revealed this much about her relationship

Abia Assembly approves Ikpeazu’s N30bn loan request

The Abia State House of Assembly has approved a request sent to it by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to raise a loan facility of N30 billion

Most Watched Movies

Poisonous Affair- Part 2

Features: Desmond Elliot, Monalisa Chinda, Mercy Johnson, Mike Manafa

My World 2

Features: Mercy Johnson, Patience Ozokwor, Yul Edochie I am Prince Akudo, the next apparant to the throne. Talk of money, women and servants I had it

Sincerely Mine 3 - Part 2

Features: Mercy Johnson, Mike Ezuronye, Frank Artus, Esther Audu, Michael Godson. Kester and Eddie had their break through contract with Grace's company. Out of greed, Kester

Morning After Dark 2 - Part 2

This is a sequel to Beautiful Monster. Features: Oge Okoye, Angela Okorie, Annie Macaully. Morning After Dark is a story of a former dark angel who turned

Heart Of A Twin - Part 2

Sequel to "Dirty Diamond" Features: Mercy Johnson, Funke Akindele, Jibola Dabor, Chinyere Wilfred, Walter Anga, Nkechi Nweje, Ani Amotosero Dirty Diamond is a story about two sets

cron